What does it mean to cross that line which sharply divides us on the basis of gender? To free oneself of the socially constructed onus of being male? Is there life beyond a hetero-normative family? Set in Tamilnadu, India, ‘Our Family’ brings together excerpts from Nirvanam, a one person performance, by Pritham K. Chakravarthy and a family of three generations of trans-gendered female subjects, Aasha, Seetha and Dhana, who are bound together by ties of adoption. They all belong to the trans-gendered community called Aravanis (aka Hijras, in some parts of India). Aasha Bharathi, the grandmother, is the president of the Tamilnadu Aravanigal Association, Chennai. Seetha, the daughter lives with her male partner Selvam, in Coimbatore. Dhana, Seetha’s adopted daughter also lives with her and shuttles between her adopted and her natal families. The film juxtaposes the ‘normality’ of their existence with the dark and powerful narrative by Pritham- ‘Nirvanam’; Nirvanam (Liberation) refers to the act of liberating oneself from the male body and transforming oneself to a female. The pains and dilemmas as the joy of becoming the ‘other’ is the main motif of the film. Weaving together performance, life histories and everyday life, the film problematises the divides between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

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