Boldness shouldn't be associated with showing skin, says Mira Nair

Boldness shouldn't be associated with showing skin, says Mira Nair

The controversial director is currently directing Queen of Katwe, the biopic of a Ugandan chess prodigy
07 Mar, 2016

If there's one thing we know Mira Nair for, it's storytelling that gets you in the gut.

It's taken more than just the creative process to deliver cult favourites like Salaam Bombay, it seems.

Nair admits that she's had to combat commercial pressures throughout her filmmaking career.

The director said to IANS, "There are commercial pulls, of course, when you are helming a film. And bigger the project, the greater the number of people you are answerable to. But in the midst of all this, I always try to keep my voice alive. As the director of a film, as the story teller, you have to keep your voice alive.”

Her next film, Queen of Katwe, is a biopic of Ugandan chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, who coincidentally walks into a chess school in her city, develops a passion for the game, and goes on to become a world class player at a very young age. The Walt Disney production stars Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.

“When I heard the story from a Disney representative, I was like ‘That’s my stuff’, and I instantly agreed to direct the film,” Nair said of her film.

Nair's known as a bold filmmaker, but she doesn't equate boldness with the showing of skin. Bollywood's become bolder in other ways, she says:

“I don’t think boldness should be associated with showing off skin. It’s not the basis of boldness. I think there is a lot more bolder thinking that is now in cinema here."

“Also, the craft and quality have seen miles of improvement. In earlier days we had to be apologetic about the standard of things, but now we are as good as anyone else. That is just really exciting,” she added.

She also said that if she made Kama Sutra again, she'd make it differently.

“I would make it very differently because the world has changed and I have grown. But, yes, censorship is still there. That has not changed here, and that is incredible. Not just in cinema but in society as well. In that sense, it’s not the most open place we have been in,” she said.


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Skeptic Mar 07, 2016 03:23pm
Which is exactly many desis consider is requisite to be considered enlightened, progressive or modern - western atire,'tight fitting clothes or revealing too much skin on screen or the street! Shameless insecure followers of the West. Otherwise they feel inferior.
Thoroughthinker Mar 07, 2016 03:45pm
Boldness is in showing the absolute truth in a decent and educative way.
Satt Mar 07, 2016 05:16pm
Kamasutra is her best film.It teaches you to respect women.
Khanra Mar 07, 2016 05:27pm
@Skeptic The only insecure people are the ones who criticize a woman's right to choose what she wants to wear as some sort of cultural submission to the West. By the way, you're typing in English, a western language. If you think that English is an international language, then travel anywhere in the world and you'll see women's freedom to wear whatever they wish is an international concept too. Let women wear what they please. If you have a problem with it, then that's your problem alone.
Zak Mar 07, 2016 06:37pm
@Skeptic agreed
Zak Mar 07, 2016 06:46pm
@Khanra I think you've got Skeptic wrong I don't think he's saying women can't wear what they like. He's saying they perceive what ever the westerns wear as superior whether its good or bad . As regards use of English its become an international language but at home all nations use their own language . However some feel they are superior because they speak English. I don't agree with this sort of mind set. You should take people as they are and respect their differences.
rahul Mar 07, 2016 09:30pm
@Thoroughthinker Oh come on TRUTH, seriously mate, there is so much truth in ones life let alone the world that one cannot come to terms to it. TRUTH is a very cliché !!
Ahsan Gul Mar 08, 2016 05:50am
I absolutely agree with the director. Western societies are finding out that skin showing is creating big time issues in their daily lives. East must learn or will face similar problems in future.
Agha Ata Mar 08, 2016 09:12am
Yes. Kama Sutra (the book) needs to be changed. But who follows it, anyway! But the point is that Kama Sutra was never meant to be teaching boldness, it was all sex, nothing but sex; albeit it did discuss co-wives relationship among themselves and with the man of the house.