QDoc Saturday Film Review – I Am

I am is filmmaker Sonali Gulati’s coming out letter to her mother.  Eleven years after her mother’s death, Sonali explores the possibilities of how her mother might have reacted to her sexuality by returning to her childhood home in New Delhi and gathering the coming out stories of Indian queers and their parents.

Some might think a film of coming out stories from a country which only decriminalized homosexuality in 2009 would be intolerably grim.  But the film includes many heartfelt interviews with Indian parents philosophizing on parental acceptance, the meaning of unconditional love and the process of letting your children become who they are. Some of these parents showed real bravery to stick by their kids and to change their own expectations.  They’ve challenged the expectations of their extended families and a society that is very focused on heterosexual marriage.  Many are clearly still struggling with it, but there is a lot of love in this film.

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