This stunning film shows the power of being gay without using a single word
Can you portray the pressures of prejudice without saying a single word?
That’s the mission of a new film, portraying what it’s like for a man to fall in love with another man – without any dialogue.
The film, Sisak, tells the story of the two men, named only ‘A’ and ‘Z’, falling in love on India’s famous train network.
Homosexuality remains criminalised in India, despite it having numerous out celebrities, a thriving LGBT culture in some cities and even a gay prince.
But alost nobody wanted to commision the film – fearful of backlash for doing an LGBT film in India.
Director Faraz Arif Ansari said: “I faced rejection from almost every production house in the country.
“They loved the screenplay, they were thrilled about the project but then they didn’t have the courage to make a socio-political satire about homosexuality.”
The rejection led Ansari to spend a lot of time on Mumbai’s train network, where he discovered the world of ‘cruising’.
Now the new film tells that story, in the language of love.
“A first-of-its-kind silent LGBTQ film in India, Sisak makes waves before the visuals of this short hit the shore.
“Set in the fast-paced environs of the usually bustling Mumbai local train system, it details a romance that develops slowly and intoxicatingly, nestled in the silences and quiet comforts of the end-of-day train journeys.”
The silence throughout the film, he says, is to demonstrate how silenced LGBT people are across India, as they continue to be criminalised by the state.
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“Silence is the most piercing sound”, he said.
“Silence is something that so underutilized in our lives, in the films we watch and the films we make, silence barely exists.”
He added: “[It’s] a political statement about the state of the LGBTQI community in India, there exists a state of immense need to be heard by the community.”
Watch the trailer here:
Ansari was also featured in a photo project portraying what it’s like to be gay in India.