YouTube Removes Short Film On A Lesbian Couple Ahead Of Its Screening At The First LGBT Film Festival In Kolkata

Penile Code By Sharath Chandra Bose Is A Moving Tale Of Insecurities

Penile Code, is a 15 minutes short film that talks about a lesbian couple in an Indian city where gay sex is banned. It explores the dynamics of their relationship in the present day political scenarios, their struggle and the atrocity that it leads to. The critically acclaimed short film has made it to many LGBT international film festivals across the globe and won accolades. It has also been selected as the film to be screened at ‘Dialogues: Calcutta International LGBT Film and Video Festival’, the first ever LGBT Film festival in India.

Okay, but wondering why are we talking about this particular film now?

Sadly, the movie has been removed from YouTube where it had already collected over 4 lakh views in the last two years, citing a violation of nudity and sexual content (which it means to brand this film under).

The film’s director, Sharath Chandra Bose, who is clueless about the scenario is approaching YouTube seeking restoration of his film. A British critic, Anthony Crossland stated, “The short film shouldn’t have been removed. No nudity. It didn’t promote homosexuality or even criticise Indian law. It just expressed the social dynamic of a lesbian couple in this sort of environment. The sort of environment where people report the video over and over (I suspect in retaliation for it gaining a small success and having an upcoming screening at an LGBT film festival) until YouTube’s algorithm removed it.”

De-Coding The Movie And Why It Isn’t Available

Symbolically as the lesbian couple leads a life of their own, the Indian constitution comes out with the re-criminalization of gay sex under section 377 after the religious groups challenged the Delhi High Court verdict which decriminalized gay sex in 2009. The director gives his take on this verdict via an intruder perhaps which he creatively symbolized as the Penile Code. He says,

“This film is not a propaganda film of any politics. But the film is very much political in its content and form. The film is dealing with gender fluidity, relationship-power-dynamics.” 

One of the famous youth film festival that this film made it to was the ‘YOUKI International Youth Media Festival’ and the Jury stated, “The home of two women: rituals of cooking, tea drinking, and cigarette smoking. The news supply a counterpoint to the precisely and painfully observed relationship drama. With just a few clearly composed shots, the filmmaker handles the power balance between these two women. He shows the explosive nature of homosexual love in a country that puts it under strict penalty. The approach convinces us in his sensitive radicality.”

Where Do We Stand As A “Liberal” Society 

As a country, we are already passing through a ‘horrid time’ in regards to getting homosexuality on par with heterosexuality. Blame it on the patriarchal mindsets or the religious fanaticism, the re-criminalization of same-sex in 2013 was an example how as a society we lack the liberty to live a life of one’s choice. With one-sixth of the world’s population and one of the most diverse countries (at least what we claim to be), we (as in majority) barely have any understanding on many issues with homosexuality being the primary one.

According to a survey by ‘Insidermonkey’, one out of every 14 men in the India is gay. Now, don’t look around for that particular one of the 13 people around you, because that is not the mindset we should have. Let anyone be anything they want to be and just accept them the way they are. Our system at times is a hypocrite, at least you don’t be one!

Here, we have the movie exclusively for you to watch it even though YouTube has now disapproved of it.

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