INDIA / 2012 / Bengali / Color / Blu-ray / 58 min
Director, Script: Sankhajit Biswas
Photography: Sourabh Kanti Dutta
Editing: Sankhajit Biswas, Pritha Chakraborty
Sound: Sukanta Majumdar, Sk. Abdul Rajjak
Music: Tajdar Junaid
Producers: Moupia Mukherjee, Sankhajit Biswas
Source: Sankhajit Biswas
Two friends live in Kolkata. Chiranjit has looked like a girl since he was a little boy, and is constantly sexually targeted by other men. Bubai is made fun of for his girlishness at his high school, and his family threatens to disown him if he fails his exams. Together they walk the path of youth; it is assumed they are destined for prostitution. They endure crushes and heartbreaks, and more than anything are starved for love. Chiranjit and Bubai are watched over by their big sisters in the transgender community, where they come to know the internal and external realities necessary for life.
[Director’s Statement] The sexual exploitation of children has long been seen as a grave issue in India, but is often viewed as being limited to girls. Consequently, the prostitution of boys is little understood, despite its acknowledged existence in some parts of South Asia, including India. It is a taboo in Indian societies, and thus, cases involving the sexual abuse of boys are frequently under reported and shrouded in silence. And in spite of a traditionally accepted but marginal social space dating back to ancient times, as well as a visible presence during festivals, celebrations and public ceremonies, transgender girls have never been recognized as vulnerable and at risk with regard to their basic rights of survival.
Unlike girls, boys in India are perceived to be emotionally or physically less harmed by prostitution, and therefore are seen as not needing special attention and support. The most direct consequence of not addressing the problem is the continuous inflow of young boys and transgender girls into prostitution and trafficking.
Along with that, I wanted to explore the idea of womanhood through their eyes. As they are not “real” women and want to become women, it has been a great opportunity to find out what the definition of the term “woman” means in the context of Indian society and culture.
Born on October 21, 1975 in Kolkata, Sankhajit Biswas completed a 3-year Postgraduate Diploma in Editing at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute in 2005 and participated in the Berlin Talent Campus in 2010. Documentary films edited by him have been screened in the IDFA Competition, DokLeipzig, the Toronto International Film Festival, YIDFF, the Ismailia Documentary Film Festival, and Film South Asia. They have won prestigious awards including the FIPRESCI Certificate of Merit, Special Mention at the One World Human Rights Film Festival in Prague, Best Documentary at the Kara Film Festival, the Jury Award at the Ismailia Documentary Festival, and the International Jury Award at the Mumbai International Documentary & Short Film Festival. Apart from editing documentaries, he has taught editing at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute and the Department of Film Studies of Jadavpur University. In-Between Days (2012) is his first film as director.