“I am a woman, who loves a woman”; “I am not at all comfortable with this body”; “In my first workplace, I could never openly say I am gay” – These lines from the film are’t just the words of a few lesbians, bisexuals and trans Indians, but the voice of entire sections of Indian societies whose sexual identities are denied, made fun of or just ignored in this country. Directed by film-maker and activist, Sridhar Rangayan, Purple Skies dives deep into the lives of a few people who have to live with this daily discrimination. Over the past year, the film has received enthusiastic responses and has been screened at 27 international film festivals.
India has a complex relationship with sexual identities that aren't normative. Hijras and eunuchs have been a part of Indian culture for centuries, and yet gay intercourse is actually illegal thanks to a British-era law. This was decriminalised by a High Court decision in 2013 that has since, however, been overturned by the Supreme Court. As a result, being gay in India isn't just frowned upon. It's illegal.
“It is important to break barriers and expand our discourse to a larger mainstream audience, to enable a more equitable and accepting society”, says Rangayan in a press release of the film. It’s interesting to note that the film has received U (Universal) certificate from censor board and is set to telecast on Doordarshan’s National Network,which according to Rangayan, is perhaps the “first” LGBT film to telecast on national network. “We are happy that the film is finding a larger space to amplify the lives of lesbians & bisexuals within a larger discourse on women’s issues”, adds Rangayan.