Re­han Mu­dan­nayake’s new short film on sex­ual ha­rass­ment ‘Red Mus­tang’ on De­cem­ber 7

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - EVENTS -

Dushy is a young grad­u­ate des­per­ate for a job. In one of the big com­pa­nies to which she ap­plies, she faces the ini­tial two rounds of in­ter­views and goes for her fi­nal in­ter­view with Anu, the pow­er­ful CEO. She gets ‘more than she bar­gains for’, we are told. To learn more about this story, you would have to watch Re­han Mu­dan­nayake’s new short film ‘Red Mus­tang’, which ex­plores the is­sue of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

“It’s one of these huge issues which really needs to be tack­led be­cause it’s a mas­sive prob­lem out here both for men and for women,” ex­plains Re­han. The story takes place at night and has been shot from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Al­though the script was writ­ten by Re­han, he ex­plains that he dis­cussed ev­ery­thing with his sis­ter Francesca and Du­lika Jaya­manne (who play the roles of the grad­u­ate and the CEO), al­low­ing them to add to their lines to give au­then­tic­ity to the film.

Re­han feels that the medium is a great way to con­vince peo­ple. “Art is a po­ten­tially more ef­fec­tive medium in tack­ling these issues of sex­ual ha­rass­ment than through pol­i­tics or through laws which some­times al­le­vi­ate the prob­lem but I don’t think they really change the way peo­ple think,” says Re­han. It is ap­palling to note the fact that women who face sex­ual ha­rass­ment in Sri Lanka have very few mea­sures to ad­dress the prob­lem. “There is very lit­tle pro­tec­tion for you if some­one tries to ha­rass you, partly down to the way peo­ple think over here and partly down to the law sys­tem,” Re­han ex­plains.

“In a job sit­u­a­tion or some­thing like that as a woman you don’t want to come across as be­ing rude to the person be­cause you keep think­ing do they ac­tu­ally mean it like that or am I be­ing rude? There are all these com­pli­ca­tions which come into it al­though the bot­tom line is that you are right and you are in­no­cent,” states Francesca.

“The Red Mus­tang” will be screened at the Na­tional Film Cor­po­ra­tion on De­cem­ber 7 at 6.30 pm. There will be a Ques­tion and An­swer ses­sion with the ac­tors and di­rec­tor after the screen­ing. En­trance is free, but there will be a col­lec­tion box for do­na­tions and the sug­gested do­na­tion amount is Rs. 300.

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