Mumbai: Onir says he was in relationships in the past where he was open but his significant other was not comfortable maybe because the person had the fear of being assumed as gay just because he was with the filmmaker.
“I have been in relationships where I was open but my significant other was not comfortable – maybe it was the fear of being seen with me and being assumed that they are also gay,” he said.
Onir was speaking to actress-director Nandita Das at &Privé Soirée which brings award-winning movies to viewers in an exclusive setting hosted by ZEEL’s (Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited) premium English movie destination, &Privé HD on the completion of one year of bringing nuanced cinema to its discerning audience.
The format also includes noted filmmakers and actors discussing each movie before the screening and highlighting the various themes explored in each story.
As the start of this on-ground initiative, &Privé HD hosted the Academy Award Winner “Call me by your name”. The movie, that takes the audience through a sweet summer romance between two individuals of the same sex, aims to resonate positively with the Indian audience with the recent ruling in favour of LGBT rights.
During the conversation, Onir honestly opened up about society’s perception of relationships and sexuality.
“When I watched ‘Call me by your name’…I was talking to someone who is also a director about the LGBTQ subject, that person exclaimed and said someone who’s respectable for the work and ‘I am not sure how I can deal or if I can understand the emotion right.’ I was like ‘Why?’, I mean if I was a gay person can understand what it is to make films in all kinds of relationships, how come you are so scared to think what a gay person would know.
“So, when I was watching ‘Call me by your name’, I was not really looking out at this gay relationship, I was looking at two people, who connected. A much younger guy and a much older guy and a connection that was not just physical and for me, that was beautiful for me. It is very often, unfortunately, gay relationships are seen as only physical. Be the whole fight with article 377,” he said.
The maker of films like “Shab”, “Chauranga”, “Bas Ek Pal” and “My Brother… Nikhil” says that “people even on Twitter put up that sex is not meant for recreation but for procreation.”
” …but when one sees a film like Call me by your name, you are able to understand the connection that we speak about it not just of body but of two souls,” he said.