In­dia's 'Lip­stick Un­der My Burkha' to fi­nally hit screens

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

The re­lease of a Hindi movie ex­plor­ing fe­male sex­u­al­ity in In­dia this week af­ter a bat­tle with the coun­try's film cen­sors is a vic­tory for women's rights, its di­rec­tor said. "Lip­stick Un­der My Burkha" will hit screens on Fri­day, five months af­ter the coun­try's no­to­ri­ously prud­ish and much-ma­ligned censor board re­fused to cer­tify it for be­ing "lady ori­ented". The movie tells the story of the se­cret lives and de­sires of four wom­enin­clud­ing a col­lege stu­dent who wears a burkha, and a 55-year-old who re­dis­cov­ers a sex life af­ter the death of her hus­band.

"I feel that the re­lease is not just about 'Lip­stick' but is also a vic­tory and cel­e­bra­tion that women can tell their sto­ries," di­rec­tor Alankrita Shri­vas­tava told AFP on Mon­day. "It's not just about my film and our cast and crew. If it had not re­leased (then) that would have set a prece­dent that it's okay to gag 50 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion," she added. In­dia's censor board, the Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CBFC), sparked up­roar in Fe­bru­ary when it blocked the movie, say­ing it was "lady ori­ented, their fan­tasy above life". The rul­ing was widely mocked on so­cial me­dia.

The board, which has a his­tory of bar­ring movies it deems too racy or at risk of caus­ing re­li­gious of­fence, com­plained of "sex­ual scenes, abu­sive words, au­dio pornog­ra­phy (phone sex)". It also im­plied the film might of­fend Mus­lims. Crit­ics, how­ever, pointed out the board reg­u­larly ap­proves adult come­dies con­tain­ing deroga­tory jokes about women that are di­rected by men and tar­get In­dia's pre­dom­i­nantly young, male cin­ema-go­ing au­di­ence. Shri­vas­tava was out­raged at the de­ci­sion and challenged it at an ap­peals tri­bunal, which in April cleared the film for re­lease, al­beit with a few cuts, such as re­duc­ing the length of some sex scenes.

The Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal ruled that "Lip­stick Un­der My Burkha" was suit­able for any­one aged 18 or over and should be given an adult rat­ing. The film has aired at more than 35 film festivals world­wide, in­clud­ing the Tokyo In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val where it won an award last year. Shri­vas­tava said she was "ex­cited, happy and also a lit­tle ner­vous" about the movie fi­nally show­ing in cin­e­mas in its home coun­try. "It al­ways makes you won­der what peo­ple are ex­pect­ing but that's only un­til Fri­day and then it will be clear what the film is and how ridicu­lous all this drama was," she said. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.