Love and Let Love: An evocative short film on queer joy, tolerance

Presented by anti-caste filmmaker Pa Ranjith’s Neelam Social, ‘Love and Let Love’ shares the heartwarming message of acceptance and how love knows no bounds.
A scene from the film Love and Let Love
A scene from the film Love and Let LoveYouTube screengrab

How would a single mother who reads Annihilation of Caste and hangs posters of Angela Davis’s quotes react to her daughter being in a same sex relationship? How would an adult queer daughter take to her mother dating a man after the death of her father? These questions form the core of the short film Love and Let Love, directed and produced by Shailaja Padindala, which released on February 15.

Shailaja Padindala is a queer person who directed Naanu Ladies (2021), which followed the trials and tribulations of two women in love with each other. They are also well-known for their film Memories of a Machine (2016), which created a stir for its discourse on child and teenage sexuality.

Presented by anti-caste filmmaker Pa Ranjith’s company Neelam Social, the seven and a half minute, dialogue-less film shares a heartwarming message on acceptance and how love knows no bounds. 

The film does not introduce its characters to the audience. Instead, they become mere witnesses to a beautiful and transformative moment in the relationship between a mother and her daughter.

The introductory shots show that the mother is widowed and is reminiscing about her youth, while the daughter can barely contain her smile as she gets a call from her partner. The duo then go about their day until they have a surprise encounter at a café. 

Despite the short duration of the film, Love and Let Love is able to capture the nuance of a parent coming to know their daughter’s sexuality in a circumstance that many would say was not ideal. However, the rather quick transformation in the mother’s reaction to her daughter’s sexuality did feel a tad unrealistic. Perhaps the film could have benefitted from the mother sitting with her discomfort and introspecting why she felt that way. But this does not take away from the larger picture of acceptance from someone from an older generation.

Films and shows on queer love and relationships often show the struggle people in relationships go through for acceptance. Shows like Made in Heaven even portrayed the harassment queer people suffer from law enforcement agencies. While it is important to highlight the struggles that members of the LGBTQIA+ community face, queer stories cannot be limited to their suffering alone. Stories on queer joy and acceptance have found little place in Indian media, which is why films like Love and Let Love become significant. 

There is no end to the challenges that come in the way of love that falls outside heteronormative bounds. Families, religion, and the law, among others, often interfere with non-heterosexual love and relationships, much to the annoyance of the people in such relationships. This interference, especially by religion and family, can even prove fatal for queer people. It is in this context that films like Love and Let Love become necessary. There is a need for messages as simple as ‘love and let love’ to be disseminated constantly, considering the rising intolerance against people from the LGBTQIA+ community.

Watch Love and Let Love here:

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