IQMF: Sunny Boy / The Sworn Virgin And The Girl

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Sunny Boy is an intimate portrayal of a gay Indian man in his late thirties. Born and raised in Malaysia, Kumar Muniandy moved to the UK in 2003. He takes us through his journey from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to London, reflecting on his family, his cultural heritage, what it means to be a man and gay in his homeland, and what it now means to be brown and gay in London.


Kumar comes from a working-class Tamil Hindu family. As a young boy growing up gay in a repressive society meant his childhood was complicated. He was bullied at school for being feminine and his first sexual encounter was with a pedophile. He has never come out to his parents and as a teenager, he lived a clandestine gay life in KL. In search of sexual freedom and a desire to pursue an acting career, Kumar moved to London. The city offered him that freedom and good friends but that came with its own price as he tells us of the racism he experienced on a daily basis. He discusses toxic masculinity, his own insecurities and the lack of intimacy that he finds in the gay scene, going to saunas and using dating apps for sex. We hear about his successes in explicit detail and the problems he encounters as an Indian man on the scene where attractiveness is dictated by white standards of beauty. Images of him reacting to his own narration are combined with those of Kumar practicing yoga -as he explains yoga is his way of life. The footage is also interwoven with intimate images of the subject himself interacting with his own portraits, him washing, sleeping or praying to Ganesha.


This film will be screened with The Sworn Virgin and The Girl and in Cinemasia shorts: shifting places and identities.


‘Sworn virgin’ is a well known but dying tradition in Albania. Women who identify as men decide to deliberately remain a virgin allowing them to live a socially accepted life, behaving and dressing as a man. Bedrie (61) is one of these sworn virgins. One day she gets a call from the young Adele (26) who is exploring her identity as an Albanian woman. She wants to lead a self-determined life in patriarchal Albania and hopes to get answers from Bedrie.


This film is screened together with Sunny Boy.


  • 1 uur en 25 minuten