Sairat and the radical possibilities of Love

 

Watched the Marathi film, Sairat in the theatre yesterday and am still so bowled over by the film. For a change it was wonderful to look at how caste got addressed in the film within the larger context of inter-caste love. The first half of the film introduces us to its context – gender, class, caste, electoral politics. It is shot so amazingly beautifully! For me this first half really spells out what it might be like to fall in love and something like this I really haven’t encountered in cinema in India in a long time. The second half brings in living with this love. I was and am still taken aback by how wonderfully nuanced this film is with regard to class, caste and gender.

Even more interesting to see was how love gets constructed and produced at the intersections of these and what happens to it when these variables change. I saw this film a day after a rather painful conversation with some ‘posh’ ’empowered’ people around how marriage in India is now being changed through love. Seriously!! As someone who shoots weddings, for a living, it amazes me how love in India always finds its own caste. In the past seven years I have been shooting I have never once shot an inter-caste wedding. Inter-religion yes but inter-caste no. And yet when relationships fail to take off, when unrequited love becomes a personal failing, when heteronormativity defines your sexuality and sexual life – caste has always been kept out of the picture. This film changes that and brings caste into the centre, radically re-arranging how we understand love letting free its political possibilities. It is truly a rendering of what Ambedkar suggested as a way of beating the caste system – through inter-caste marriages (can be expanded through queer readings to include any kind of relationships, a coming together).

You can read more about Nagraj Manjule, the director of the film here:

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/others/sunday-read/The-caste-ing-coup/articleshow/52171470.cms

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/i-want-a-break-from-this-maledominated-world/article8566426.ece

For the context you can read more here: http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/a-time-to-love-and-a-time-to-die/

Trailer for the film:

 

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7 thoughts on “Sairat and the radical possibilities of Love

  1. Payal Ingole

    Caste has been a greater barrier than religion in India for a long time. It can also be said,if i may, that we have failed in coming out of this viscous circle all together. But i agree with your thoughts.And Sairat has obviously kept everybody spellbound. You might also like FANDRY movie by NAGRAJ MANJULE ! Do check. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Rashmi Munikempanna Post author

      What you say is so true! We have failed like you say. What is hopeful is also seeing caste come into public discourse in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time. Fandry is on my list. Am just really impressed with Nagraj Manjule, so glad he’s a film maker!

      Reply
      1. Payal Ingole

        There are few who have strength to put forward age old dogmas and he is one of them. The glitter and bling of cities has their own set of problems but like Gandhiji has said INDIA LIES IN ITS VILLAGES, these core issue needs to be addressed for inclusive development.

        Reply
    1. Rashmi Munikempanna Post author

      This sounds amazing. And so timely – thinking through caste and language/ caste and public space as seen in representative practices – so perfect! Thank you!!

      Reply

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