Published May 04, 2009In the land that gave the world the first sex manual (Kama Sutra), Indian couples cannot kiss in film or neck in the parks. With insight and intelligence, Love In India explores this profound contradiction by examining marriage, sex, women's rights, repression and the clash between traditional and modern values.
A radio talk show host fields questions like, "What exactly is an orgy?" "What is oral sex?" Meanwhile, police beat up couples strolling in a park, a young woman complains that couples cannot kiss in public, while a cleric is worried about pious India now resembling other "decadent" civilizations. A young man observes that Indians have no privacy and so have sex "very silently."
Director Q travels this vast and disparate country to interview Indians of all castes and backgrounds, and covers everything from arranged marriages to Tantric sex. However, simply Q finds that just talking about sex is risqué in India, as the population remains largely ignorant about the subject.
Q admires Lord Krishna and his consort Radha, who are the gods of love and passion. But he laments that they are shunned today in favour of pop culture, particularly Bollywood movies that present sexiness in a glossy package but with no sex. He also addresses shameful subjects like spousal abuse.
A female history teacher hits the issue on the head by declaring that knowledge of sex, or knowledge in general, is power. And power in India is held by men at the expense of women. She concludes that attitudes in India will change only when men do.
Love In India is a rare survey of love and sex that arrives on the cusp of India achieving world power. It'll be interesting to re-watch this film ten years from now.