'I'm not a feminist messiah'

'I'm not a feminist messiah'

'I'm not a feminist messiah'

Acclaimed actress and film-maker Aparna Sen says she is no feminist messiah and that she doesn’t believe that women can only make ‘delicate’, ‘women-oriented’ films which always show the gender in a positive light.

“When a woman makes a film, I don’t know why people think it will be about women only. I am not a feminist messiah that I will only talk about women’s issues if I am a woman. I think we should, like men, talk about human beings in our films. And as a woman, I see no wrong in showing a woman as evil and corrupt. Why must we always show women as glorified beings,” said Aparna while participating in a film
festival.  

Aparna said, “Many people say, ‘Oh if you’re a woman, you can only make delicate films on emotional subjects’. Many people in the industry feel that a woman film-maker can’t handle a war film. For example, if there was a film on World War II or say an adventure film, and the option was from a male or a female director, the man would be given the chance. The woman would not get it. Perhaps that’s the only discrimination I have faced as a woman film-maker,” she added.

As a film-maker, Aparna has touched upon sensitive subjects through her movies. She says life for a woman film-maker can be tough especially when it comes to balancing the professional and personal aspects. “For a woman, only a film is not everything. She has to work as well, and balance home and work. As a woman, I have never felt extra special or privileged, and I never even felt any discrimination as such.

But when I started as an actress, that time a lot of friends’ in-laws used to tell them not to be in the company of an actress. But it’s great that nobody thinks so anymore. Nowadays, if people have a daughter, many people think how to put her in a reality show or a film.”

Aparna says she never had a tough time switching from being in front of the camera to going behind it.

   “As a woman film-maker, I never faced discrimination as I already had the visibility and celebrity status as an actress. The only thing that I often felt was I should have had a wife because balancing the personal and professional life is tough. There are family commitments, people expect you to attend family functions, be with friends... it gets tough,” she said.