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Identity at the Margins: Queer Diasporic Film and the Exploration of Same-Sex Desire in Deepa Mehta's Fire

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In a collection entitled Queer Globalizations, Gayatri Gopinath argues that films like Deepa Mehta's film Fire traverse a complex transnational space in their trajectory of production and consumption that necessitates a supple analysis of the discourses they generate. Following Gopinath and using Fire as a case in point, I wish to argue that the transnational space occupied by a film like Fire is a politically complex space, composed of a right wing-influenced diasporic discourse about women and sexuality and a globalized essentializing of homosexuality in neo-liberal India, both of which are resisted by this film. On the contrary, I argue that its treatment of women's sexuality as non-heterosexual but also not definitely lesbian offers a resistant narrative of women's bodies that could only result from the negotiation of this complex transnational space.
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Keywords: Deepa Mehta; feminism; heterosexual hegemony Indian middle-class; homosexual desire; patriarchy; queer studies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Publication date: 01 July 2010

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  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
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