Exactly a month ago from today, the US Supreme Court’s holding, in Obergefell v. Hodges, seemed to give cause for celebration to many individuals, most of whom expressed solidarity through their profile picture on Facebook. Newsfeeds were abuzz with reports of how “gay marriage” had been legalised in America. However, the actual holding, in fact, amounted to an affirmation of two, far less controversial propositions of law regarding liberty and equality. Despite their simplicity, both those propositions are of incredible significance to ideals of democracy.
Frangipani is a Sinhala film made in Sri Lanka in 2014 written, directed and produced by Visakesa Chandrasekaram, a Sydney-based lawyer and creative writer. While it is an important and welcome addition to the genre of queer film in South Asia, it would be doing it a disservice to label it just as a gay flick. Rather it is an exploration of complex sexual identities, desire, fate and the role that socio-cultural and economic factors and realities play in the lives of those who do not fit neatly into either traditional heterosexual or even homosexual moulds. In a broader sense the film is an invitation to explore fundamental issues of what one calls the human condition.