Lesbian themes in Bengali films

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Unnati Davara (Miss India East 2010) and actress Rituparna Sengupta: ‘Teen Kanya’
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Sources include

Chha-E-Chhuti Locket Chatterjee in a lesbian kiss

Is Tollywood ready to cross the Sandra line The Telegraph

Rituparna and Unnati bare it all! Ruman Ganguly, The Times of India, TNN | May 25, 2012

Dola Mitra/ Outlook

Hemchhaya De/ Telegraph


Bengali films with lesbian themes

Rupa and Kanchana in 10th July
Koyekti Meyer Golpo
Nil Nirjane
Nil Nirjane
Picnic (2013)
Picnic (2013)

10th July


Rituparna SenGupta

Chiranjit Chakraborty

Rupa Bhattacharya


Kanchana Maitra

Director: Ratul Ganguly

Producer: T.S.K Films

The film has a gay couple (Chiranjeet and Abhrajit) and a lesbian couple (Rupa Bhattacharya and Kanchana Maitra).

Chhoye Chhuti/ Chha-E-Chhuti

Chha-E-Chhuti (dir: Aniket Chattopadhyay): In the film Locket Chatterjee plays a lesbian TV actress who tries to seduce an aspiring actress.

Koyekti Meyer Galpo (2012)

The rough, middle aged escort agency’s owner’s substantially younger wife (Mumtaz Sorcar) is a bisexual and does drugs.

Nil Nirjane (2003, dir: Subrata Sen)

When Nil Nirjane was made it could only give hints of lesbianism between two characters because the audience was not ready to see it in a Bengali film. In an international film they would have had no problems with the same subject. There were two lesbian kisses in the film, the first a mere peck and the second one deeper.

Paromitar Ekdin

The Telegraph suggested that there were lesbian undertones in Paromitar Ekdin, between the mother-in-law (Aparna Sen) and her daughter-in-law (Rituparna Sengupta). Rituparna, however, did not think there were any lesbian or sexual undertones there.

Samo — The Equals

Samo — The Equals (dir: Chandreyee Ghosh): The film is about lesbian and [male-male] homosexual relationships: man-man and woman-woman. This was actress Chandreyee’s debut as a director and led to rumours about her sexual preferences.

She responded by telling The Telegraph, ‘Well, I am single for the past two-and-a-half years. I have had very long relationships with men. But to me a woman-woman relationship is very normal. ... I won’t say I don’t believe in the concept of marriage but I am not sure if I want to get married.’

Teen Kanya

Agnidev Chatterjee's Teen Kanya was rumoured to be based on the Park Street rape case. However, as Chatterjee pointed out, the Park Street rape case did not have a lesbian angle to it. He told The Times of India that Teen Kanya was about a sex worker who seeks justice and asks a journalist. Aparna (Rituparna Sengupta), on a live show whether it's okay to rape a prostitute.

Aparna suspects her husband of having an affair with Damini, an IPS officer (Unnati Davara). When Aparna's husband gets kidnapped, she meets Damini and thus, begins a mesmerizing relationship between the two women. Aparna asks herself if Damini is more beautiful than she is and if that drew her husband towards the other woman. This question is the trigger for her obsession for Damini that soon turns into a relationship.

Tollygunj actresses on lesbianism

Mallika Majumdar, actress

Mallika, who played a lesbian in Samo — The Equals, told The Telegraph that for her, locking lips with a female co-star is as natural as kissing a male star! She, too, had to contend with rumours about her sexual preference. She responded, 'I have many male friends and an equal number of female friends, and to them whether I’m heterosexual or homosexual doesn’t matter at all. And I don’t care what the rest of the world thinks about me.'

Rii on her bisexuality

Rii told The Telegraph, 'I am bisexual. I am in a relationship with Q [who directed Bishh] but I have fallen in love with women too. I was in love with my cousin sister. I may fall in love with a woman on a bus or a tram. Sometimes I am attracted to the way they dress, or their bindi or their sari...I want to play lesbian characters ... but nobody has offered me a role like that yet. My question is can our filmmakers show intimacy on screen beyond just a kiss?'

Indeed, most of the actresses interviewed by The Telegraph said that they would like to do lesbian roles.

See also

Adult content in Bengali cinema: I Adult content in Bengali cinema: II Adult content in Hindi-Urdu cinema Adult content in Kannada cinema Adult content in Malayalam cinema Lesbian themes in Bengali films Lesbian themes in Hindi-Urdu films Lesbian themes in Malayalam cinema

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