I Am

Sat, June 4, 2011, 4pm

Director Sonali Gulati in attendance

Returning to India to clean out her recently deceased mother’s home in Delhi, filmmaker Sonali Gulati regrets never having told her mother that she is a lesbian. Wondering if she would even have wanted to know, she imagines her mother’s possible reactions in a series of unreassuring vignettes. Compelled by this unresolved question, Gulati meets with out and closeted Indians and their parents in hopes of finding insight and understanding. What begins as a beautifully rendered personal journey transforms into a multifaceted portrait of families across India.

Citizens of a country where being homosexual was until recently against the law, parents and children grapple with social as well as familial pressure to conform to gender norms, marry and have children. While one family helps a couple solemnize their union with a religious ceremony, another breaks into a temple to reclaim their daughter, who had taken refuge with her lover. Stories of confusion, resignation and heartbreak are tempered with those of love, acceptance and pride in this moving and heartfelt film.

Against the backdrop of the Indian Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in a case challenging Penal Code 377 outlawing homosexuality (which dates from 19th century British colonial law), LGBT people begin to find solidarity and publicly claim their rightful place as
Indians—and family. –Beth Hutchison

Community Partners: Asian Pacific Islander Pride
Portland Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays