In a country where people belonging to the LGBTQ community have few social rights and are heavily discriminated against, it is rare to find a cheerful depiction of their lives and a celebration of their love in any work of art.
But the Tamil music video released recently, titled Lesbian Anthem, does just that. Although it is part of a far more serious documentary Ladies and Gentlewomen, which deals with love, life and suicide among lesbians, filmmaker Malini Jeevarathnam decided to end the film on a happier note.
The LGBTQ activist teamed up with composer Justin Prabhakaran to produce a song on lesbian love. While interviewing lesbian couples for the documentary, Jeevarathnam found that many of them could not relate to popular cinema songs. “Most said the present cinema has so many love songs, but none to bring out the love between lesbians, which is why I took up the initiative to do this song,” she told News Today.
Against the backdrop of calm ocean waves, the video explores the small moments of happiness of a modern lesbian couple in the city. The second half presents a traditionally-attired couple in a serene rural setting.
With the intention of depicting the beauty of love between lesbians in the song, Jeevarathnam brought on board Kutti Revati, who has written poems on lesbian love in the past. In an interview with music portal DooPaDoo, Jeevarathnam said that she had asked Revati to keep the lyrics simple, uncomplicated and cheerful – to show the happier side of the lives of lesbians.
The documentary Ladies and Gentlewomen has received Best Documentary awards at the Chennai Rainbow Film Festival and the Norway Tamil Film Festival. It has also been nominated for an award at the Pune International Queer Film Festival Out & Loud.
Here’s a video on the making of the song.