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Ram Gopal Varma: Anything relating to sex is still frowned upon.

Ram Gopal Varma

Ram Gopal Varma was upset that some theatres wouldn’t show his lesbian movie Khatra. He doesn’t understand why homosexuality is such a taboo subject.

Last month, Ram Gopal Varma took to Twitter to express his frustration, claiming that several multiplex chains refused to screen Khatra because it featured lesbians.

When it comes to talking about sex, “especially something like this,” Varma says, “it’s still taboo to talk about it or even think about it. Despite the Supreme Court’s repealing of Section 377 nearly four and a half years ago, I don’t think anyone is willing to discuss the issue. It’s a topic that’s rarely brought up in casual conversation. Everyone’s antenna goes up when you make it public by force.”

The filmmaker admits that he was disappointed to see that it is still happening today.

For my film, we had to strike a balance between not forcing themes on the audience through posters and the like while still allowing them to be discovered by those in attendance. The corporate sector is more sensitive to public opinion. Nobody knows how the public will react, but they believe they will be embarrassed or disgusted,” the director says.

But that doesn’t stop him from delving into topics ranging from lesbian themes to the Telugu web series Dhahanam, starring Isha Koppikar, about revenge set against the backdrop of a Naxalite region. When I made Satya, Kaun?, Company, Bhoot, and Sarkar 3, I wanted to talk about Andhra Pradesh’s interior but with a wild west vibe, and that is something I intended to capture,” the filmmaker says.

The web series marked his OTT debut, which Varma believes indicates the growing importance of regional content in the domain.

“Narcos was first” Mexico, where this film was shot, is unknown to most people. It is now seen in almost every country on the planet. It is now more about the characters and their conflicts. It makes no difference what language or region they are from. Every language can reach everywhere, as evidenced by the popularity of Korean content today,” he concludes.

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