Anjali Monteiro & K.P. Jayasankar

Anjali Monteiro | K.P. Jayasankar

Our Family

Year: 2007 Language: Tamil Subtitles: English Duration: 55 mins

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