No more a taboo on celluloid

Published: November 27, 2010

Indian cinema had virtually ignored HIV/AIDS as a theme owing to the difficulty in adapting the stigmatised AIDS and sympathetically tackling it to fit the needs of commercial movie-goers. Although mainstream Bollywood response to the epidemic was tardy, the present decade has seen filmmakers integrating HIV/AIDS into commercial movies. The response began with Mahesh Manjrekar’s “Nidaan” (2000) followed by Revathy’s “Phir Milenge” (2004), Onir’s “My Brother Nikhil” (2005) and Father Dominic Emmanuel’s “Aisa Kyon Hota Hai” (2006). 68 Pages (2007) directed by Sridhar Rangayan is perhaps one of the earliest films to tackle the issue of HIV/AIDS among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). Parallel to Bollywood’s representation of HIV/AIDS, the regional cinematic response started with the Marathi film “Zindagi Zindabad” (1998) produced by the Humsafar Trust. Sasidharan Pillai’s Malayalam film “Kaatu Vannu Vilichappol” (2001) and Vishal Bhandari’s Marathi film “Kaalchakra” (2007) which was nominated for the UNICEF award, are the other significant HIV/AIDS movies.

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