Mardistan (Macholand) is an exploration of Indian manhood articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds. A middle-aged writer trying to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed studying in an elite military academy, a Sikh father of twin daughters resisting the pressure to produce a son, a young 20-year-old college student looking for a girlfriend with whom he can lose his virginity, and a working-class gay activist coming out to his wife after twenty years of marriage. Together, their stories make up different dimensions of what it means to be a man in India today. Mardistan (Macholand) starts a conversation on critical issues including patriarchy, son preference, sexual violence and homophobia in a nation increasingly defined by social inequalities.
“… very thoughtful and insightful… a rich provocation, a nuanced reflection, and even richer ethnographic text… a teaching resource by anthropologist in various ways - for gender studies, urban studies, and South Asian or International Studies, as well as for its excellent example of visual methods to use in ethnography.” — Tarini Bedi, American Anthropologist
“Mardistan presents Indian masculinities in all their complexities as they emerge in a context of a powerful and shifting debate in India on sexual violence, sexual rights and citizenship. This is a powerful, insightful, and teachable film that overturns simplistic notions of gender and seeks to widen the debate on the relation between patriarchy, masculinity, sexuality and gender.”
— Inderpal Grewal, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies (Yale University) and author of
Scattered Hegemonies, Home and Harem, and Transnational America
“...a thoughtful documentary that hopes for a brave new kind of Indian macho man” —Firstpost.com