You Must relax

13 Jan ’04 Documentary MANASH Production

The main objective of the film is to give word to Kothis, the transgender community in West Bengal, India, to promote their fundamental rights. ‘Kothi’ is a term that is used across South Asia with local variations. Kothis often see themselves as non-English speaking, with a feminine homosexual identity. Kothis largely belong to non-English speaking lower middle-class and feel their marginalisation in terms of language, education, socio-economic status as well as sexuality. Kothis are reviled by society, and abusively addressed as ‘gandu,’ ‘chakka,’ ‘khoja,’ and so on. This often results in lack of self-worth and self-esteem which makes Kothis even attempt suicide at some point in their lives. Many Kothis are driven to sex work due to many complex reasons, including economic necessity and non-acceptance and rejection by the family. Further, Kothis are often subject to sexual harassment which makes it impossible for them to continue in the workplace.
One of the main points the film presents is how present laws contribute to Kothis’ exploitation and their marginal position in society.

Director: Riin Rõõs, Enrico Pizzolato
Production: Merle Laager
Co-production: NGO Praajak
Involved TV Channel: Estonian Television
Festivals: Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival