Acclaimed Malayalam director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s Sexy Durga has won the prestigious Tiger Award at the International Rotterdam Film Festival – and the trolling has accompanied the tributes. The 37-year-old filmmaker has stated in a Facebook post that he has been receiving threats over Whatsapp from a man who claims to be Rahul Shrivastava, the president of an organisation called the Hindu Swabhiman Sangh. Sasidharan wrote on his Facebook page, “His problem is that my film has hurted his religious sentiments by adding the word “Sexy” before the name of “Goddess Durga”. When I said my film has nothing to do with “Goddess Durga” he is asking why I am not putting the name “Sexy Sreeja” to the film. When I said “Sreeja” is also a goddess name, he is telling me that Shreeja is my wife’s name too.” Sasidharan has posted screenshots from the group’s Facebook page to bolster his claim.
Sexy Durga explores the threat of violence faced by a young couple when they elope in the dead of the night. The movie title refers to the female character and reflects the collective attitude of the men who pick her up. Sasidharan uses the “sexy” in the title to comment on the manner in which men worship women in the form of goddesses on the one hand but brutalise them on the other.