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Shanthini Sarah, Dr.P.GovindarajuCritical analysis on representation of Third gender in contemporary Tamil cinema
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Shanthini Sarah, Dr.P.GovindarajuCritical analysis on representation of Third gender in contemporary Tamil cinema


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  • 1. D. Shanthini Sarah Research Scholar & ASM, Gyan Vani FM & Dr.P.Govindaraju Head - Department of Communication Dean- Faculty of Arts Manonmaniam Sundaranar University,
  • 2.  “Films are all fictional, since the y all represent something by means of signs , rather than presenting what exist in spectators real time and space” Christian Metz  Create identity for any social creation  Ideological construction  Meaningful documents with the potential to yield rich insights into the cultures and times in which they are made  Host of cultural idea and values at a hidden or subconscious level
  • 3.  1.5 million Transgender population  ‘Hijiras’ , ‘Aravani’ or ‘Thirunangai’  Gender identity crisis  Hindu mythologies – Ardhariswara (Shiva & Shakthi), Arjuna(Mahabharata), Mohini (Vishnupurana)  Tamilnadu as pioneer in inclusion at various levels  Creating conducive environment
  • 4.  How transgender are represented in Tamil Cinema?  How does the transgender community receive the images? Hence the study objectives are  To analyse the depiction of transgender characters  To analyse the identity created for the community through the images  To analyse how the transgender identify themselves in the films.
  • 5.  Sex maniacs  No morality  Ridiculed in comedies  Misfit to the society
  • 6.  Semiotic analysis Variables:  Character  Time and space given for them in the film  Significance of the character  Their relationship with other characters  Shots  Costume  Music
  • 7.  Reception analysis  In-depth Interview  Six Transsexuals  The group composed of film maker, social activist, writer, actress, etc.
  • 8. Functionality in the narrative:  Screen presence in the film is at least 20 minutes  Characters were named (Eg: Karpooram in Vaanam)  Significance of the characters in development of the story Depiction of their relationships:  “Guru –chela”- kinship  Atleast four films depicted their relationships
  • 9. Dialogues for social acceptance:  Characters voice out their plight  Represent the whole community Carving out cultural identity:  The shots of their festival (Thenavettu)  Misrepresentation of their rituals (Kaanchana, a song in Thenavettu)
  • 10.  Fashion shows  Double meaning dialogues  Gaze
  • 11.  Happy and satisfied with their portrayal  Gained confidence  Kaanchana film has given a poignant dimension to the transgender community which has yielded them respect  Social Inclusion became a reality
  • 12.  They felt, if the transgender characters which are played by the male actors are replaced by the transgender the nuances of their role could be met. For example: Some of them felt that Sarath Kumar playing the Kaanchana role was more masculine than being feminine  They feel happy on seeing the transgender getting married in Narthaki film, as the transgender crave for marital relationship
  • 13.  Viruthagiri has threatened the community who felt more insecure because the film which has transgender falling as victims of the kidnappings for organs.  Though Narthaki captures the life of a transgender, the culture and customs projected are not accurate
  • 14.  Create awareness  Stereotypes should be avoided  Empathize rather than sympathize  Sensitive treatment rather than sensationalizing