This ominous road movie about two lovers on the run is interspersed with footage of a Hindu festival in the southern Indian province of Kerala. Men dance ecstatically, walk across red-hot coals and push metal skewers through their faces. Some are hauled into the air on metal hooks stuck through the skin of their backs and thighs, dangling above the crowd like the mythical eagle Garuda. All in honour of Kali, embodiment of the rage of the mother goddess, Durga. Her likeness – four arms bearing her weapons and a severed head – is carried through the village in procession.
Durga is also the name of a young woman trying in the dead of night to take a train to a far-off destination with her lover, Kabeer. First they have to reach the station, for which they depend on the kindness of strangers. But the help offered to them quickly takes on dubious forms; the police are too involved in their own business and the isolation of the night completes the oppressive atmosphere.

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan made his previous feature film, An Off-Day Game, without a script; for Sexy Durga he even dispensed with a pre-set narrative. Here, he investigates how obsessiveness and worship can quickly degenerate in a patriarchal society into a mentality of oppression and abuse of power. Winner Hivos Tiger Award 2017.

Filmmaker
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Premiere
World premiere
Country
India
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
85’
Language
Malayalam, Hindi
Producer
Shaji Mathew
Production Company
NIV Art Movies
Sales
NIV Art Movies
Writer
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Cinematography
Prathap Joseph
Editor
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Production Design
Murukan A.
Sound Design
T. Krishnanunni
Music
Basil C. J.
Cast
Rajshri Deshpande, Kannan Nayar, Vedh, Sujeesh K. S., Arunsol, Bilas Nair