Love in India etc

For our 30th screening, Abhishek Nilamber brings us Televisnu by Prithi Gowda and Love in India by Q, two distinct independent films examining tensions and contradictions between love, sex, and tradition in India.

Televisnu is an inventive fantasy in which Mira tries to fix her computer but ends up fixing her life. Over the course of her travels through the air ducts of the call center where she works, the fields of her village, and psychedelic dreamscapes, Mira finds herself confronted by different expectations of friends, family, and her own conscience.

Love in India is a passionate look at the way passion is perceived in India. It’s a personal film, designed with fragments of the romance between the filmmaker and his girlfriend. But soon, the film spills into the chaos that is India. Old or new? Love or sex? Love in India is a volatile story of confusion, dichotomy and revelation. A story of repressed moral values in a country with a timeless tradition of spiritual sexuality. The film is a search for the roots of romance and the eternal orgasm.

These films observe how a huge fraction of the world (over 1 billion people) deals with love and marriage. Most Indian marriages that happened in the last generations, or even now, are functional. They tend to serve a societal role rather than an emotional communion. In the grand scheme of Indian society, every family, every couple, every person is assigned a patch of the social fabric. Often times, they are made a part of this tapestry without them really being prepared or in complete agreement with it.

Furthermore, most education around love comes from Bollywood and most education about sex comes from porn, creating a toxic combination of stalker-ish romance, violence, and lust that is a major cause of the problem of sexual violence in India.

These films from young independent filmmakers living and working in the United States and India, respectively, challenge mainstream beliefs and depictions of sex and love, while also looking honestly at the effects that these traditions have on Indians’ sexual identities and proclivities.

Abhishek Nilamber is a project coordinator, concept developer and curator working with SAVVY Contemporary. Deriving from his experience as an alternative film distributor in India and as a screenwriter for contemporary films in India, he is driven to conceptualise and develop contemporary infrastructures and ecosystems for new media. His most recent curatorial endeavour was as the co-curator of Amos Gitai's exhition The Law Of The Pursuer at SAVVY Contemporary during Berlinale Forum Expanded 2017. Projects he is currently developing include ROACHEES, SAVVY POP, SAVVY Listening Sessions and United Screens.