Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) groups and individuals across India have been clamouring for the reading down of the colonial law Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which carries a heavy sentence of 10 years or upto life for sexual activities ‘against the order of nature’. While the Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexuality in 2009, the Supreme Court reversed the decision in 2013 stating that “The Court held that there is very little evidence to show that the provision is being misused by the police.”
Now a new documentary film Breaking Free provides ample evidence through personal testimonies that the law is being misused by police and blackmailers to exhort, torture and even rape people of the LGBT community. This 82 mins feature length documentary, about the Indian LGBT community and its fight for justice, will be screened on August 1st 4pm at Films Division, Mumbai.
In the film Breaking Free, filmmaker and gay activist Sridhar Rangayan embarks on a personal journey to expose the human rights violations faced by the Indian LGBTQ community due to the draconian law Section 377 and homophobic social mores. This gritty documentary Breaking Free, shot over 7 years, features searing testimonies of gay and transgender persons who have been victimized or exploited, as well as wide-ranging interviews with advocates and activists across India. See-sawing between despair and joy, anguish and hope, the film is an emotional roller-coaster journey of the Indian LGBTQ movement – from invisibility to empowerment.
“Everyone, including the courts, have this constant refrain that Sec377 doesn’t affect the LGBTQ community as there are not enough convictions to prove it. Breaking Free provides concrete evidence how this law has been used and misused repeatedly”, says Rangayan, “My film is an expose on the brutality faced by the LGBTQ community at the hands of police and blackmailers. It offers first person accounts of those who have been tortured, raped and blackmailed. It is time to tell the truth”.
For the moment you can watch the trailer here