LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA and TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON added to HIFF Spring Showcase Lineup
The 20th annual HIFF Spring Showcase film lineup just got a little bigger. The HIFF programmers have added two more films after the print deadline of the guide, with the intent to fill TBA slots in the film schedule that were reserved for these opportunities to book major films for the Spring Showcase.
Director Alankrita Shrivastava won the Spirit of Asia award at the Tokyo International Film Festival with this ambitious narrative set in Bhopal. Rehana is the titular burkha wearer who sings at open mics in defiance of her father’s warnings; Shirin is a superstar saleswoman, but must keep this triumph a secret from her faithless husband; Leela is trying to juggle a Muslim lover, a Hindu fiancé and her dream career as a bridal consultant; and Auntie Usha secretly reads racy novels and lusts after her swimming instructor. Two of the women are Hindu, two are Muslim, but all their stories come together when they attempt to challenge the sexual and social norms of Indian patriarchy.
An all-star cast brings these characters to life, including Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Vikrant Massey. Shrivastava’s forthright depictions of sexuality have raised questions whether LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA will be released uncensored in India.