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Porn Is Exaggerated, A Bit Like Cars Flying Around In 'Singham', Says Barve

Anupam Barve is one of the three film-makers who have banded together to create a series of eight short films which tackle different curiosities stemming from sex. He tells Outlook that documentaries on subjects tend to get didactic while the youth prefers storytelling.

Porn Is Exaggerated, A Bit Like Cars Flying Around In 'Singham', Says Barve
A Still From The Movie 'Kab Kab Jab Jab'
Porn Is Exaggerated, A Bit Like Cars Flying Around In 'Singham', Says Barve
outlookindia.com
2019-04-18T16:47:37+0530

Remember the time your parents took you aside to have a conversation about the so-called birds and bees? Didn’t really happen, did it? Even if it did, the conversation probably made you either squirm, or walk away and start watching reruns of animals going at it on National Geographic.

While there may be more than a degree of truth to the above generalisations—insecurities, misconceptions and misplaced morality form part of the sexual experience among those in their twenties, and even lower.

Anupam Barve is one of the three film-makers who have banded together to create a series of eight short films which tackle different curiosities stemming from sex. He tells Outlook that documentaries on subjects tend to get didactic while the youth prefers storytelling. “I didn’t want to make a documentary about awareness because the tendency is to get preachy and the youth will say: ‘Gyaan mat do!’,” he says. He mentions that while documentaries tend to get a bit preachy, drama “is more about the imperfections, making it more human.”

The films were a result of research carried out by the Prayas Health Group, an NGO with a focus on issues around sexuality and HIV/AIDS. People from different sexual orientations between the ages of 21 and 29 were heard out in Pune. While the research is still taking a final shape, the themes that emerged from those conversations have been addressed in the series titled ‘Safe Journeys’.

The films talk about safe sex, masturbation and porn addiction, consent, child sexual abuse, self image, unwanted pregnancies and mental health. Two short films, titled ‘Kab Kab Jab Jab’ and ‘Dekho Magar...’ are already out on YouTube, the first almost hitting a lakh views at the time of writing.

‘Kab Kab Jab Jab’, starring Parna Pethe and Suvrat Joshi plays on the qualms a woman and a man have about repercussions before a heavily-hinted-at sexual encounter. ‘What if there isn’t a condom involved,’ is the question being asked.

‘Dekho Magar...’ deals with porn addiction, masturbation and commonly held perceptions surrounding the issues. At one point, our protagonist, the ‘addict’ has a sleepless night wondering if it indeed takes a thousand drops of blood to make a drop of semen as his chum suggests. The films are more about debunking such myths and taking the conversation forward.

Barve says the intention behind the exercise is dialogue. “The response has been interesting. People had questions about condom usage in oral sex, for example,” he adds. The films have a one minute monologue at the end, “a call to action”. The second film, ‘Dekho Magar...’ looks at masturbation and porn addiction. “We don’t take a moral position on porn, for example—just that don’t try and force someone else to watch it without consent. What people have to understand that it's exaggerated, a bit like the cars flying around in Singham,” says Barve.

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