Film: Soongava: Dance of the Orchids
Click for Program Details: Dance of the Orchids (Soongava) »
Katmandu-born, France-based writer/director, Subarna Thapa, has made waves with his inaugural feature-length film, the first from the Himalayan country to grapple with same-sex love.
On one level, Soongava is a tenderly told girl-meets-girl story. Diya (Deeya Maskey) is a teacher and dancer who fallsfor Kiran (Nisha Adhikari) just when Diya's family have found her a suitable boy to marry. But when the women's relationship comes to light, we see how unwilling their tightly knit families—and Nepalese society—are to accept their choice. Motherly complaints ripple outward, producing dark and malevolent reactions at home and within the community. The tension between Hindu traditions and modern morsis palpable when Diya arrives home late from a nightclub or meets with her fianc without a chaperone.
With its backdrop of mountain vistas, traffic jams and a touching dance piece, Soongava offers us a uniquely queer entry point into life in contemporary Katmandu.