Documentary
Produced by Neelam Productions, the documentary directed by Malini Jeevarathnam explores body politics and same sex relationships.
Facebook/Malini Jeevarathnam

Director Pa Ranjith’s Neelam Productions has launched the trailer of their upcoming documentary, Ladies and Gentlewomen.

Directed by Malini Jeevarathnam, the documentary explores body politics and the stigma that is usually associated with it as well as LGBTQ issues.

The director, in a 2017 interview with Manam Magazine shared that she has been working on the documentary for over three years and completed filming it in January 2017.

In the interview, Malini talks about her research journey for her documentary where she closely studied LGBTQ persons, their life, love and suicides.

On the documentary, she added that she does not consider it as a project but as an expression of feelings, emotions and as a medium to help prevent LGBTQ suicides. “In the year 2016 alone, 17 gay youngsters committed suicide in Chennai,” she said.

The Ladies and Gentlewomen trailer is presented in the form of voiceovers - one male and another female - with visuals that show the credits and awards won by the film.

A female voice asks her friend, “Buddy, shall I tell you a story?” and goes on to narrate the start of a usual king-meets-queen story. When her male friend says “I’ve heard 1000 such stories,” she goes on to narrate another where a queen meets another queen.

Her companion is surprised and says that he hasn’t heard a story like this ever. That's when the narrator adds with a smirk, “How could you have heard unless we tell it or you let us tell it?”

The sound of the ‘parai’ that plays in mono, becomes stereo when the word ‘gentlemen’ becomes ‘gentlewomen’ in the trailer, possibly signifying the idea of giving voices to marginalised narratives.

Towards the end, you have the male voice inferring from the documentary’s English name that this might be an English film. To this, his female companion says that it is a Tamil film after all.

Writer Kutty Revathy and Damayanthi have contributed lyrics for two important songs that play in the documentary.

Ladies and Gentlewomen was presented at several award ceremonies and has gained lots of recognition so far. The documentary will premiere at Prasad Theatre in Saligramam, Chennai, on January 21 at 5.30 pm.

Watch the trailer here: