Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

Queerguru reviews BLUE SUNSHINE a remarkable must-see transitioning story from India that both entertains and educates


One of the sheer joys and benefits of being a queer film reviewer is that we get to be on the frontline to see how and when our community emerges from the darkness of our past and continues to self-determines its own destiny.  Its also the way we can learn about the other parts of the LGBTQ+ family as they share their stories and help us understand what is right and wrong in their worlds.

It wasnt so long ago that transgender men and women were portrayed on film as freakish figures of nature, and  then  that developed into them been shown as the stars on their own tragic dramas.  However if Blue Sunshine is to be seen as the new norm, then that is now fading into the past.

This captivating new drama, the debut film from an Indian filmmaker, lays out a story of transitioning that is refreshingly unsensationalized. Writer/director/star Samyuktha Vijayan may have no prior experience of filmmaking but as a transwoman she speaks with a quiet unshowy professionalism that is  determined  we fully understand the reality of the situation of her character.

Arvand is a physics school teacher who has been quietly taking for hormone treatment in preparation for his/her transitioning,  That however is suddenly brought out into  the open  when his broke unemployed father starts looking for a bride for him…. with a wealthy dowry.  It forces Arvand to speak up and reveal that he/she is about to transition and become a woman. From now on she will be  Bhanu.

This is always such a pivotal point in stories like this but its hard to appreciate that this is all unfolding in a public school in rural India. Her conviction and courage  is remarkable even when she faces the hostile opposition from the school’s VP.  The VP however is put in her place by the Counsellor (Head of the School) who can see the potential positive PR of being  seen to support Bhanu’s transitioning . What is also notable is that unlike the other teachers, her teenage  pupils meanwhile seemed unfazed  by the change.

What takes us by surprise (and Bhanu too) is that a male teacher invites her on a ‘date’ only to reveal he has no romantic interest in her but to satisfy his curiosity would like a friends with benefits arrangement. 

Plus  Bhanu is approached by a pupil who is being bullied by his classmates for being perceived as effeminate. He believes he is non-binary and asks for Bhanu’s support and advice of how to deal with his tormentors.

Throughout all these developments  Bhanu is this quietly spoken articulate woman who lacks all sense of melodramatics that we see so often in transitioning stories. She focuses single-mindedly on her own journey to become the woman she has always been on the inside.

Vijayan’s tale is powerfully uplifting and although it doesn’t beg us for support, it reminds one that they so deserve it.  This is a story that need be  shared as widely as possible to help us understand our trans brothers and sisters, better and I so hope it reaches the widest possible audience


 BLUE SUNSHINE will be screening at Wicked Queer , Boston's LGBT Film Festival 


ROGER WALKER-DACK Creator, Editor-in-Chief Miami Beach, FL / Provincetown, MA 
of G.A.L.E.C.A. (Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) and 
NLGJA The Association of LGBT Journalists. and The Online Film Critics Society. Ex Contributung Editor 
The Gay Uk & Contributor Edge Media Former CEO and Menswear Designer of  Roger Dack Ltd in the UK


Posted by queerguru  at  13:09

Genres:  coming out, dramedy, trans

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