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