"My Brother Nikhil," and AIDS in India

The Times' Somini Sengupta has a report on a film that has come out in India, called My Brother, Nikhil, which features a 'hip' young gay man dealing with AIDS and HIV. It's set in the late 1980s/early 1990s, when AIDS was not being discussed in India at all.

The film easily passed the censor board, and thus far there has been no controversy about it whatsoever. I gather that there is no explicit sexuality in it.

Reading the (glowing) Rediff review, one gets the distinct sense that the film will be over-the-top and melodramatic in that Bollywood way. The article is a little ambiguous on this point, but it sounds like part of the plot is "the sad plight of India's patient zero."

Oh well. I'll still go see it if/when it comes out.

This comes on a day when Sepia Mutiny has a post on a BBC report on a study that Indians carrying HIV seem to develop full-blown AIDS at a higher rate than people in other parts of the world. The researchers have attributed the to genetics: "protective genes are rare while harmful genes are common." It's an interesting claim; I'm skeptical, but willing to be convinced.

Still, the statistics are sobering: at least 5 million Indians are infected with HIV.

1 comment:

Varun Singh said...

Judging the film too soon, aren't we? I've seen the movie and I think it wasn't over-the-top melodramatic (we just call it sentiyaapa). The movie makes lots of sense and definitely it doesn't induce pity for central character, unlike many others blind sister/old mother movies.

Hope you'll like it too.