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BETWEEN THE LINES - INDIA'S THIRD GENDER

Germany, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Documentaries)

Director: Thomas Wartmann

Following the quest of photographer Anita Khemka, Between the Lines eloquently captures the life and many hardships of India's discarded citizens, the Hijras or eunuchs.

Living as outcasts on the edge of society, the existence of the Hijras is largely denied. Neither men nor women, their universe is highly inconsistent: they are infertile yet, according to Hindu religion, they have a talent to spread fertility. And, although they have no apparent sexual organs, the erotic is omnipresent in their everyday lives.

Providing a subjective yet balanced eye, filmmaker Thomas Wartmann introduces us to Asha, who has suffered through 17 years of prostitution and now roams the beaches of Bombay ‘blessing' couples who are willing to pay a fee; Rhamba, an hypnotic-looking Hijra who works as a go-go dancer at a pub; and Laxmi, who embodies the dashing femme fatale persona and literally lives two lives - one as a male and one as a female. At once a beautiful, yet deeply sorrowful, documentary.

D/P Thomas Wartmann S Dorothea Rieker, Thomas Wartmann
WS Telepool Munich L English, Hindi w/English subtitles
TD video/2005/95mins

Thomas Wartmann was born in Neustadt an der Waldnaab, Germany, in 1953. Between the Lines: India's Third Gender (2005) is his feature film directing debut.

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