Anjali Monteiro | K.P. Jayasankar

Documentary Filmmakers | Educators | Researchers

Our Family

  • Year: 2007
  • Language: Tamil
  • Subtitles: English
  • Duration: 55 mins
Our Family

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’.

Awards

  • Special Mention of the Jury, Signs 2007
  • Certificate of Merit and Special Mention of the Jury, MIFF 2008
  • Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) Gold for Best Sound Design
  • IDPA Gold for Best Script
  • IDPA Silver for Editing
  • IDPA Certificate of Merit for the Best Documentary

Festival Selection

  • Signs, Thiruvananthapuram, India, 2007
  • Marupakkam, Madurai, India 2007
  • Mumbai International Film Festival 2008
  • Vibgyor Film Festival, Trichur, India 2008
  • International Video Festival of Kerala, India, 2008
  • Viscult Festival, Finland, 2008
  • Nigah Queerfest,  New Delhi, 2008
  • Jeevika, New Delhi, 2008
  • Prakriti Film Festival, Pondicherry, 2008
  • JDCA Festival on Art and Artists, Bhubaneshwar 2008
  • Persistence of Resistance, New Delhi, 2009
  • Royal Anthropological Institute Film Fest, Leeds, 2009
  • Netherlands Transgender Festival 2009