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This Groundbreaking Film Is The First Bollywood Blockbuster To Show A Lesbian Romance

by Emma Davey

A little bit of good news to brighten your social media feed—the new Bollywood movie Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (How I Felt When I Saw that Girl) is now “the first mainstream, star-studded blockbuster about a family coming to terms with their daughter loving another woman” in India, reports The Guardian. 

The film was released in cinemas this past Friday. It stars father-daughter duo (in their first onscreen appearance together) Sonam Kapoor and Anil Kapoor. Anil Kapoor plays the father of Sonam Kapoor’s character, the protagonist fighting to be accepted by her family.

The film’s director, Shelly Chopra Dhar, hopes the film reaches beyond the more progressive pockets of the country. The Guardian reports that “she deliberately set Ek Ladki outside of a major city to break stereotypes.” Dhar has told the publication, “Critics say, [homosexuality] is for modern people, it has come from the west…I’ve broken that.”

The release of this movie comes shortly after a major breakthrough in LGBT acceptance in India—last September, their Supreme Court unanimously voted to decriminalize gay sex. The statute in question, Article 377, was a remnant of British colonial rule, and though it was rarely enforced, it brought a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and “helped perpetuate a culture of fear and repression within the LGBT community,” reports CNN. 

Other recent Bollywood movies have been making waves by breaking down boundaries. For example, accoring to The Guardian, the film Veere Di Wedding (2018) not only “featured a gay character in a minor part” but was also “the first to show a woman masturbating.”

Top credit: Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga 

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