A movie called Common Gender about a love affair between a transgender person and a Hindu boy has become an indie hit in Bangladesh after a small release in only six theaters. Encouraged by this early success, the film's distributor Emanul Karim plans to extend its release nationwide and push cinema owners to extend its run in their theaters.
The fact that Karim is currently in talks with an Indian distributor to launch the film in India seems a little surprising, considering that, according to the AFP, the "hijra" community comprising transvestites, transexuals, eunuchs, and asexual people is among the most marginalized groups across Southeast Asia. Just last month, New Delhi played host to the first-ever Hijra Habba, which was organized as a way to help ease the discrimination experienced by so many members of India's "third gender."
Director Noman Robin has said that he made Common Gender, whose plot — for anyone who thinks this movie will become a great Instant Watch find on Netflix in a few months — the AFP seemingly spoiled in the linked article, after watching a mob brutally beat a transgender person who tried to use a women's bathroom. With such grim inspiration, you can probably bet that the movie will be a pretty rough ride, so we probably shouldn't extend the above Greek Wedding analogy beyond box office performance. Otherwise, there might be quite a collection of dismayed movie watchers who turn on Common Gender for a heart-warming romp and get instead a depressing account of how exceptionally awful people can be to anyone who's a little different.
Transgender romance movie a hit in Bangladesh [AFP via Yahoo]