dir Laurie Colson & Axelle Le Dauphin / Belgium/India 2016 / 75min
This moving portrait gives an insightful glance into the daily life of a family of transgender women in India - the hijras, more commonly referred to as ‘the third gender’. The film paints a fascinating portrait of their history, mythology, rituals and place in contemporary indian society, where they are revered in the country’s religious history yet ostracised by society and commonly rejected by their families.
Leader of the clan, Lakshmi Ma, serves as a mother to her seven daughters providing them with a strong moral compass and spiritual guidance to navigate them through a society that eschews them. Despite the hardships that they face these women have bonded together in their adopted family to survive and live a fulfilled and spiritual life. Although distinctly Indian, GURU reveals something deeply universal about their condition as social outcast and lets them tell their stories through their own words.
Content warning: contains a very short scene of graphic animal slaughter.
In partnership with Open City Documentary Festival