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Submit Your Reviews for #Gender in #Indian #Films @100

May 10, 2013

gender in bollywood poster

To mark 100 years of Indian cinema, we are inviting people to submit reviews for our “Gender in Indian Films @100” film review series.   To read previously published reviews click here.


→   1) We invite submissions from everyone regardless of gender, nationality and race.  If you’ve seen a Bollywood film that you’d like to talk about in context of gender, we want to hear from you!

→   2) Print the name of the film you are reviewing and your name on the top.  This must be an Indian film, though it can be in any language, and from any time period.  Note: your film does not have to be a recent one.

→    3) Your review must focus on a gender aspect of the film.   Here are some ideas:  How is male and/or female gender portrayed; how is male and/or female sexuality portrayed; how is gender violence or gender hierarchy, or the interaction of the sexes portrayed. You can focus on any other ‘gender issue’ that strikes you about the film.

→   4) Word limit is 1000 words. Do include a brief 150 word or less synopsis of the film.  BUT HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR REVIEW:  The bulk of your review must be about your personal response to the film.  We are not interested in a general synopsis.  What we want to know is what impact this film had on YOU.  What emotions and thoughts did it arouse in you? Or what events in your life or family did it make you think about? Did it make you rethink something? And why?  Make it personal!

→   5) Also include a 2 line bio about yourself and your background.  Include links to your blog and/or twitter account if you wish. Then copy and paste your submission below.  If your submission is accepted we will email you


7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2013 11:44 am

    We recieved this message from Sourinee: Am really happy to learn about your campaign, particularly the reviewing of gender and sexuality in Bollywood. I wish to draw your attention to some of the daily soaps in prime time slots in Indian national TV. While many of these soaps re-inforce patriarchal values, what is extremely worrying is that these are also very popular, reaching not only the homes, but often, the hearts of millions of Indian viewers. Thus, I was shocked to see that Sony Entertainment channel, which boasts of socially responsible shows, such as KBC, is actually broadcasting a serial named “Anamika”, which villifies a woman, identified as a witch. This woman apparently preys on young men in the name of love, destroying lives. Given India’s painful practice of “witch-hunting”, which has been painstakingly resisted by social activists, how can a popular media even romanticise and re-inforce the same concept which has been used to kill people? I am not aware of the details of the serial, and am too revolted to watch it to know more about it. Equally damaging is another serial, named “Madhubala”, a Colors channel presentation. I have watched some of the episodes and in these episodes, the serial glorifies a man who abducts, hurts, blackmails, insults, and provokes a woman to give up her life, all in the name of ‘love’. He has even criminally hurt the father of the woman, but that has not threatened his throne as the hero of the serial. This man, not just the actor, but the character–Rishabh Kundra–has a huge fan following. Deep down, among a huge section of Indians, there is an internalising, and a positive avowal of the thought process that this character represents–this is disturbing and portends more and more violence against women. How can all these be glorified as heroic? There might be some skewed argument that says that the portraying is an attempt to reveal what is wrong, and why it is wrong. But in that case, should not such behaviours be clearly resisted and marked as wrong, unacceptable and unworthy, instead of being sanctioned as a good man’s excesses, or weaknesses? What is far more dangerous is that people might admire such behaviours and choose to adopt them and even call it love. It is a great disservice to society and to our collective struggle to allow a popular character to indulge in these behaviours. There is nothing great about treating another human being as your property and this can not be justified in any way. It is very very surprising that this regressive and violent storyline and portrayal can get so much funding while causes to end human distress does not get adequate funding.

    • November 21, 2013 10:22 pm

      That serial sickens me to the core.

  2. May 13, 2013 11:45 am

    Mark Connell from New Zealand says: I watch a few Bollywood films now and again. Being in Hindi I don’t rememebr specific titles but there is one thing that I have noticed over the years. I have seen many times in Indian movies a leading male actor slap his wife or daughter in a way that suggests it is socially acceptable, that it’s O.K. that if he gets real angry with her or she’s done something wrong, then he can rightfully wack her across the face at his whim. Perhaps that’s because it’s the truth? Perhaps that is socially acceptable in India? I saw another one which was part of a series of short movies (something I’d never seen before so that may be familiar to someone. The story centre on a young woman with an ardent admirer, a single young man who was her neighbour. they become friendly but she declines his advances. He sees her having a good time at a night club, decides she’s loose and is offended at being turned away by her, catches her at her apartment and rapes her. It turns out the girl had AIDS, which he of course catches. Because of his foolishness and anger he didn’t give her a chance to explain and faces death as a result. The sympathy is with the woman who was actually tprotecting him. However, The shocking thing, is that there is a strong sense, that if she didn’t have AIDS, his actions would have been O.K.? The sense of the film (possibly not intended but it comes through) was that somehow she was supposed to justify herself, which, of course, she shouldn’t have to do (she tries to explain in the movie but he stifles her). It raises the question of people justifying violent behaviour according to their perception of the rightness or otherwise or another’s behaviour.


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