Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar says portrayal of sex in Hindi cinema has been problematic with more focus on physical abuse, rape and molestation than consensual sex. Zoya said when people consume such content at a young age, the impact is visible later. She said that Hindi cinema shows physical abuse, never consensual sex. We all in the industry should change the narrative and talk about it.
She said, “I realized this much later that while I was growing up, I have only seen physical abuse in Hindi films. It was crazy because we were allowed to watch rape scenes, molestation and assault but we weren’t allowed to see consensual sex.”
Hindi Cinema Shows Physical Abuse
The director said this portrayal of sex can be difficult as it sends a wrong notion. And Hindi cinema showed physical abuse, which is not appropriate. These scenes affect more that consensual sex. Why don’t we talk about it?
“What you are putting out is that women will always say no and you will just jump on them. When you are a kid, you don’t really focus on it. When you grow up, you realize that was weird and it should change.”
Zoya said she has become the person she is not only because of the strong women in her life but also men. “I have been raised by a hard-core feminist. My male friends, colleagues in the industry and outside are all feminists. It took me a long time to realize and recognize a certain amount of sexism because it didn’t exist in my world. A lot of it went by without me even reacting to it.”
The Gully Boy director said the important bit right now is to put out more women stories and include female gaze. “When I am making films, I am putting out men that I want in the world.The need of the hour is to enable more women and their stories to come out.”