The Dadar-Prabhadevi-Shivaji Park belt may be going all uppity with its new fine dining places packed with two car-owning Maharashtrian families. But scratch the surface and you still find the steeped in varan-bhaat conservative middle-class who wear the right brands but think the biggest one is Lord Siddhivinayak.
It was surprising then to see the huge turnout for the screening of “Amen” at the Ravindra Natya Mandir, organised jointly by the Films Division, Indian Documentary Producers’ Association and Film City. Even though the film raises questions on our homophobia and unveils myths associated with homosexuality in a “provocative and explicit” manner, the audience which consisted of a majority of elderly people did not walk out or protest.
Equal LGBT rights activist Harish Iyer, on whose real-life experience the film has been made, told dna, “I was sitting with my heart in my mouth. Particularly when nude scenes exposing a man’s posterior during the act of making love came up. All it would’ve taken was one voice to cause a disruption but everyone sat engrossed and went on to be part of the discussion on section 377 that followed.”
When Ipshita Muzumdar, who was once married to a gay man, spoke, the audience applauded.
“This also destroys women’s lives, societal/familial pressure pushes gay men to marry,” she said.
In fact, the lone voice of a young man who insisted “This is not a pressing issue,” received some spirited rebuttals by the elders present.