Model and social activist Rehana Fathima's debut film Eka is set to hit theatres in September. According to filmmaker King Jones, this is India's first film that discusses the issues of the intersex community.
With just a month to go for Eka to be released, Rehana Fathima, who plays the lead role in the film, has shared an episode from the shooting of the film. Her role demanded that she go nude.
Taking to Facebook recently, Rehana wrote about her experience of shooting the scene, of how she grew uncomfortable initially, but soon grew comfortable, thanks to the director and the crew.
"There were 18 people in the crew. The shooting was happening in front of all of them. The scenes were not easy at all. The director used to insist on taking 20 or 25 shots. Naturally, as someone who is acting in her first film, I was uncomfortable initially. When the director asked me if I was conscious about being nude, I told him I was."
Soon, the director asked everybody in the crew to shed their clothes if they wanted to stay back at the set.
"From the director to the camera person, to the assistant director, the light staff, the production staff and the producer… every one was asked to shed their clothes. And then the director said that nudity also means innocence. Only the purest person can be comfortable in their nudity. Nudity does not mean sexuality, there is no gender discrimination. Everyone did their jobs, while they were nude. With the cooperation of all of them, I was able to leave behind the inhibitions of shedding my clothes. By going nude themselves, they extended their support to me.”
Read Rehana's Facebook post in Malayalam here:
In an interview to Deccan Chronicle earlier this month, Rehana spoke about choosing the film and spoke at length about the concept that drove her to do so.
“For me, body is not a sexual object. It is nothing vulgar or something to be ashamed of. I am not someone with the ‘so-called’ feminine traits, especially in my body and personality. What caught my eye were the questions the movie asked about body, sexuality and gender," Rehana said.
Speaking on the film, its director King Jones said:
“Intersexuality is a taboo subject, and many are still in denial mode about it. It is said that one in around 10,000 children are born intersex, but their bodies are changed through surgery. However, as they grow up, they have to face the reality and fearing isolation, they refuse to come out, and live in agony. In Kerala alone, only three have declared themselves as intersex persons; they are the minorities among minorities."