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Aravani Girl2009

  • 3.5
Sixteen-year-olds Palani and Karthik want to become "ladyboys." They’re bullied in school and beaten by their families. Their parents would like to see them grow up as normal boys but they’re falling deeper and deeper into the world of the "Aravanis." Loved as dance performers but hated as homosexuals, their stories emblazon the inner conflicts of India’s gender culture today.

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1 member likes this review

Loved this documentary although at the same time it was much more painful to watch at times than another shorter documentary I saw on the Aravani. LGBT experiences and identities differ throughout the world's cultures, that is LGBT people may be banished and/or forced to "perform" a different function in a given society or individuals may perceive LGBT people as a 3rd sex, etc. The situation of India's Aravanis will haunt you after you see this compelling film.

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top reviewer
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Member Reviews (8)

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top reviewer

An unexpectedly trivial, shallow, superficial, glib, one-dimensional film, without context. The bullying, brutality, family ostracism and abuse these Aravanis endure is pretty unloving to say the least but I have to again wonder -- as I did with Bruce Jenner but do NOT with Chelsea Manning -- if there were not dresses, saris, makeup, toenail polish, the works, what would be left? What is the definition of the feminine here, of femininity, of female, of feminist? And why don't the families just let the kids dance and be happy children for crying out loud? Is that a native Indian/Hindu attitude toward kids/people who are different, period, or is it the stinking residue of English colonialism like the current fascist corporatist, antigay Hindu nationalist government of India? Too many questions emerge unasked and unanswered -- do "real girls" act this way and is there a similar cultural milieu for young girls to be, well, Mannygirls or Lordygirls or something, and is there a particular Hindu/Indian origin for the whole notion of ladyboys -- I mean Lord Kirshna himself is not depicted as being exactly butch/masculine/manly, whatever and neither are many of the other gods of the panethon. And the HIV AIDS confusion -- like "men don't get it"?! Come ON! It would be nice for these kids to have actual lives, education and some support and not be on the fast-track to become sex workers.

1 member likes this review
C6eae3b6e9c7e8730d7c144bb1cfc60e?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0031
top reviewer

Loved this documentary although at the same time it was much more painful to watch at times than another shorter documentary I saw on the Aravani. LGBT experiences and identities differ throughout the world's cultures, that is LGBT people may be banished and/or forced to "perform" a different function in a given society or individuals may perceive LGBT people as a 3rd sex, etc. The situation of India's Aravanis will haunt you after you see this compelling film.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

A good documentary. Does well at depicting another way of life - twice removed from our gay culture. Would recommend it.

Sad...beautiful.

Aravani Girl was real, striking, insightful, sad, and interospective. It is definitely educational, and worth watching if one is to improve on their knowledge of the world.

An eye opener

Interesting look at Indian culture.

Found it to be educational. Learn something new. Good documentary