At a time when love is frequently summoned to the courtroom in India, the films in this program present unsanctioned desires as a form of active resistance. By reclaiming control over the narrative of their own lives, the different subjects onscreen express their refusal to accept the illusion of a singular identity, be that national, religious or personal.
Priya Sen’s Yeh Freedom Life (2019) pictures an intimate portrait of love and struggle as queer couples navigate their vulnerability and precariousness of love outside of societal constraints. Sarah Naqvi’s How Does One Say Queen in Islam (2020) invokes ghosts of heroic women from traditional storytelling to conjure a new and personalized version of Islamic history. In Letter from Your Far-Off Country (2020) Suneil Sanzgiri follows the entangled traces of self and community in the history of a distant homeland.
In Person: Suneil Sanzgiri, Priya Sen, Nehal Vyas, and Gavati Wad
Resistance to dominant forms and systems has thankfully generated incredible warmth and delight in Yeh Freedom Life despite—and or maybe because of—the uncertainty of a life fully open to love.
Abby Sun, Open City Documentary Festival
Curated in collaboration with Artists in (R)evolution Collective. The Jack H. Skirball Series is organized by Bérénice Reynaud and Eduardo Thomas.