Homosexuals wrongly portrayed in films: Filmmaker Onir

January 12th, 2011 - 9:20 am ICT by IANS  

Karan Johar New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Filmmaker Onir, who once again explores homosexuality in his upcoming film “I Am”, is upset with the way homosexuals are portrayed in Bollywood, making them objects of laughter.”The community of homosexuals is presented in such a way that people laugh at them. That’s not fair; they are also human beings. It is important to show some respect for them,” Onir told IANS from Mumbai.

Onir has been chosen the celebrity of the month by UTV World Movies for its “50 movies to see before you die” segment.

Onir’s very first film as a director in 2005, “My Brother…Nikhil”, also dealt with homosexuality. He later went on to direct “Bas Ek Pal” in 2006 and “Sorry Bhai” in 2008.

Homosexuality as an issue has been touched upon by various filmmakers. Deepa Mehta explored lesbian love in her controversial film “Fire” with Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. “Girlfriend” directed by Karan Razdan and starring Eesha Koppikhar and Amrita Arora, was also based on the same subject.

“Dunno Y…Na Jaane Kyun” was the first out-and-out gay film with newcomers Kapil Sharma and Yuvraj Parashar. Karan Johar’s “Dostana” touched upon the issue in a lighthearted way. Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Fashion” and “Page 3″ also had hints of homosexual relationships. However, only a few of the films garnered critical acclaim.

Onir’s upcoming film “I Am”, a compilation of four different stories, also has homosexuality as one of its themes. The film stars Rahul Bose and Arjun Mathur.

The other issues that Onir has touched upon in his film are child abuse, single motherhood and religious conflict.

“It is very important that if you touch upon the subject as sensitive as homosexuality you need to be careful and ensure you tell a good story. The subject has to be treated responsibly and most of the films hardly presented the character in a proper way,” he said.

“Cinema plays a major role in influencing people. And when you are telling a story about the minority community, it is important to give them respect like other human beings and many films lacked that kind of presentation. It is important to talk about the relationship in a normal manner,” Onir said.

It often happens when a homosexual opens up about his or her sexuality, he or she faces rejection from family and friends, which is another issue the filmmaker strongly feels about.

“Our people are homophobic and whenever anybody opens up about sexuality, they often face rejection from family and friends. Why should they be threatened by the act of love?” he wondered.

However, the actor is optimistic that the mindset of people will change.

“It is true that insecurities often crop up and that’s why it is important to instil positive energy in them,” he added. The mindset of people will definitely change, but it will take some time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Onir is busy working on two films “Shab”, which explores the complexity of relationships, and “Face”, which is a political thriller.

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