Writer and filmmaker Aditya Kripalani, who recently turned his third international bestseller, Tikli and Laxmi Bomb into a film of the same title has another feather in his cap. The film has won Best Feature in the 10th edition of the Berlin Independent Film Festival on Sunday.
Featuring Vibhawari Deshpande, Chitrangada Chakraborty, Suchitra Pillai, Upendra Limaye and Saharsh Kumar Shukla, the film will be screened in the UK Asian Film Festival at London’s oldest cinema house. Last year A Death in the Gunj and Lipstick Under My Burkha were selected from India.
The book and film trace the unusual story of two sex workers who come together to run a co-operative and eliminate the middlemen in sex work.
In an interview to TNM, Aditya revealed that he had always wanted to make an anti-patriarchy film with the theme of ‘Sisterhood above all’, and this is what led him to pick an entirely woman-oriented subject.
An alumnus of the prestigious FTII in Pune, Aditya said that the idea for Tikli and Laxmi Bomb originated in 2003, after watching Thelma and Louise in college. “(I) have wondered ever since why we aren't making a film with that wild a spirit, with that acerbic a telling, in India,” he said.
On the research on sex work that went into writing the story, Aditya said, “I spent a lot of time talking to sex workers around the SV road area (Mumbai). This would only work practically if I paid them for the sex and had a chat instead. As they're at work and making their living for the night, money is of primary importance and not some pesky guy's questions.”
“A lot of them also opened up after the second or third time. And spoke of their lives, what drove them, urges, feelings, they shared their laughter. The most beautiful thing was that on their own, they're not 'martyrs' or sad at all. They're about as happy as women working in advertising or banking. It's just that they've seen patriarchy in its worst colours and so are wiser for it, in terms of how to deal with it,” he added
Just like the research done on the book, the film too has been shot in real locations in Mumbai in tough conditions. Apart from Tikli and Laxmi Bomb, the filmmaker has also written two other books, Frontseat and Backseat