Directed by – Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar
Duration - 56 minutes
Language – Tamil with English subtitles
What does it mean to cross that line which sharply divides us on the basis of gender? To free oneself of the socially constructed onus of being male? Is there life beyond a hetero-normative family? Set in Tamilnadu, India, ‘Our Family’ brings together excerpts from Nirvanam, a one person performance, by Pritham K. Chakravarthy and a family of three generations of trans-gendered female subjects, Aasha, Seetha and Dhana, who are bound together by ties of adoption. They all belong to the trans-gendered community called Aravanis (aka Hijras, in some parts of India). The film juxtaposes the ‘normality’ of their existence with the dark and powerful narrative by Pritham- ‘Nirvanam’; Nirvanam (Liberation) refers to the act of liberating oneself from the male body and transforming oneself to a female. This narrative bears witness to the tumultuous journey towards a reinvented selfhood, a journey fraught with violence, exploitation, affection and courage. The pains, pleasures and dilemmas of becoming the ‘other’ is the motif of the film. Weaving together performance, life histories and everyday life, it problematises the divides between ‘us’ and ‘them’.
Our Family has won the Special Jury Award at Signs 2007, Kerala, a special mention and Certificate of Merit at the Mumbai International Film Festival in 2008, and IDPA Gold for Best Script, IDPA Gold for Best Sound Design, IDPA Silver for Best Editing and an IDPA Certificate of Merit for the Best Documentary award.
School of Media and Cultural Studies