Review Bengali

Hridoy Bosot review: Empathetic exploration of gender fluidity

Release Date: 05 Mar 2022 / 01hr 01min

Cinestaan Rating

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Roushni Sarkar

Directed by Sankhajit Biswas, the sensitive film captures the intimate moments of a transwoman formerly known as Sudeb Sadhu's journey.

Director Sankhajit Biswas’s documentary Hridoy Bosot (A Home For My Heart) throws light on the journey of a transwoman formerly known as Sudeb Sadhu, who attempts to own her identity as Sudeb Suvana.

Biswas captures the intimate moments of her journey with the utmost sensitivity, the film reveals all the conflict, challenges and decisions Sudeb has to come to terms with, in her battle to normalize gender fluidity.

It is interesting to note that Sudeb doesn’t change her first name after undergoing sex reassignment surgery, as she declares that she doesn’t want to be confined to the identity of a woman. Instead, she chooses to celebrate the cerebral and emotional inclinations of a woman through her physical transformation, and also retains her societal identity as a man, as she was born in a typical lower-middle-class family in the suburbs of Kolkata.

Sudeb’s family represents a socio-economic section that is conditioned to look at her decision to undergo the procedure as blasphemy. Biswas’s comprehensive documentation brings alive the helplessness of the parents who somehow manage to lead a humble life with the help of Sudeb’s younger brother in a closeted society. When they accept their elder offspring’s decision, driven by the fear that if Sudeb is stopped, she might take a life-endangering step. Cursing his fate, Sudeb’s father states, “At least, let him live.”

Meanwhile, Sudeb has to maintain her distance from her family so that her presence doesn’t end up impacting their existence. A romantic at heart and a lover of old film songs and candid conversations with her close friends, Sudeb experiences heartbreak even after making sacrifices in her relationship with her boyfriend Ismail Gazi.

Biswas’s documentary lauds the invincible spirit of Sudeb as after coming out of heartbreak, she dedicates her life to protecting the rights of the trans community. It seems that right from the moment she breaks free from the limitations of her gender identity; she is able to rise above the social taboos and pettiness that people from her background enforce both consciously and unconsciously.

While the credit goes to Biswas for projecting the stark reality of the trans community, Sudeb has this reviewer's respect for exposing her vulnerability and strength in front of the camera. Hridoy Bosot documents the journey of empowered transwomen and also highlights the tragic state of transmen, few of which come out openly. The documentary also shows that it is possible to have a conversation regarding gender fluidity with Muslims from a not-so-liberal background.

But most importantly Biswas’s empathetic film, with its synchronized technical composition and gentle background score, establishes that the battle of Sudeb and her family is not won overnight. As Sudeb channels her growth for a greater cause, both her and her family’s struggle to coexist peacefully continues, perhaps indefinitely.

Hridoy Bosot  (A Home For My Heart) was screened virtually from 5 to 7 March at the 22nd Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.


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MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

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