Udayan asked : When I watched Bandit queen and perticularly the scene where She was being gang raped. I almost throwed up during that scene and took me about a week to get over it. How did you managed to film that scene? I mean the intensity that you put into that scene simply can’t be just direction!
Udayan, any film maker that can tell u exactly how he/she planned to execute a scene is either lying or was being completely dishonest about the shooting of the scene. I merely locked myself in a room and tried to imagine what being raped was being liked. I went into myself and realized that the body, the mind and the soul must escape the body to escape the utterly humiliating and defiling act.
So I went for that. To shoot the whole thing in a surreal fashion _ as if it was the mind was trying to escape the body.
If u look carefully though the scene is put together in a series of close ups intercut with the opening and closing fo doors. When I was filming I kept throwing up because I was recalling the emotions that I was experiencing imagining myslef being raped. The crew could not understand – for what they saw was me shooting a lot of close ups and opening and closing of doors.
I wanted to stop filming, and it was ony my DP Ashok Mehta who insited that I kept filming.
I have said this in press before, and got a lot of flak from feminists who ask how I dare say that as a man I can somewhere understand what rape feels like for a woman. I disagree. I am hoping that underneath our sex we are all human. It is a human being that I was experiencing being raped. Morover the making of Bandit Queen made me much more comfortable with my feminine self. As all of us are both feminine and masculine in different degrees.
It was the feminine self in me that felt the force of that violation.