Film Review: Boy Who Likes Girls

In Delhi a brutal gang rape and murder on a bus shocked not only the world, but India too. The nation was in denial about the levels of violence towards woman, which had all too often been ignored and covered up. Men’s role as perpetrators was put in the spotlight and a movement to change men’s attitudes began to grow.

In this aftermath, and as the #metoo movement highlights such issues, the film introduces us to Harish. He is a gentle man in his fifties who has dedicated his life to destroying the toxic masculinity endemic in his culture. A young man, Ved, himself a victim of an controlling and abusive father, joins a workshop run by Harish at the MAVA project; Men Against Violence and Abuse. It is a project formed to foster healthy masculinity. Harish realises Ved can be supported to take a path which could break the cycle as he becomes an adult, while following his own unlikely passion for dancing. It’s not easy.

Funding for such a sensitive and divisive project is hard to maintain, and stark choices need to be made if Ved is to be helped. In a world where gendered violence is the norm, it is not easy to answer the question of what it is to be a man. Is there really a chance that Ved’s generation will emerge in Mumbai as the first generation of men who like girls? This is a moving feature documentary from first-time director Inka Achte,

Boy Who Likes Girls will be premiered at DocFest, with a director QnA session after the screenings at both The Light and The Showroom.


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