Mardistan (Macholand)

Mardistan (Macholand) is an exploration of Indian manhood articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds. A middle-aged writer trying to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed studying in an elite military academy, a Sikh father of twin daughters resisting the pressure to produce a son, a young 20-year-old college student looking for a girlfriend with whom he can lose his virginity, and a working-class gay activist coming out to his wife after twenty years of marriage. Together, their stories make up different dimensions of what it means to be a man in India today. Mardistan (Macholand) starts a conversation on critical issues including patriarchy, son preference, sexual violence and homophobia in a nation increasingly defined by social inequalities.

  • Harjant Gill
    Roots of Love, Milind Soman Made Me Gay, Lot's Wife, Everything
  • Harjant Gill
  • Public Service Broadcasting Trust (India)
  • Nivedita Menon
    Key Cast
  • Amandeep Sandhu
    Key Cast
  • Gurpreet Singh
    Key Cast
  • Dhananjay Chauhan
    Key Cast
  • Tarun Dhamija
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Gender, Masculinity, sexual violence
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 2, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • New York Indian Film Festival
    New York
    May 9, 2015
    New York Premier
  • DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival
    Washington DC
    April 19, 2015
    North American Premier
  • Script International Film Festival
    Cochin, Kerala
    February 20, 2015
    2nd Place "Best Documentary"
  • Ethnografilm Festival
    April 8, 2015
    European Premier
  • Open Frame Film Festival
    New Delhi
    October 1, 2014
    South Asia Premier
  • International Festival of Prayag
    Allahabad, India
    February 28, 2015
Director Biography - Harjant Gill

Harjant Gill is an assistant professor of anthropology at Towson University, Maryland. He received his PhD from American University. His research examines the intersections of masculinity, modernity and migration in India. Gill is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made several films that have screened at film festivals and academic conferences worldwide. His films include Milind Soman Made Me Gay which explores the notion of home and belonging among gay South Asians in diaspora, and Roots of Love which looks at the changing significance of hair and turban among Sikhs in India. His upcoming film, Mardistan (Macholand) is an exploration of Indian manhood focusing on issues of sexual violence, son preference and homophobia. His films have been screened at film festivals and television worldwide including on BBC, Doordarshan (Indian National TV) and PBS. Gill was born in India, grew up in California, and now lives in Washington DC

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Director Statement

Even though the recent high profile incidents of gang rapes and sexual violence against women across India served as the initial impetus behind making Mardistan (Macholand), my desire to explore Indian masculinity is an outcome of a much longer ongoing interest and inquiry into the lives of Indian men who are increasingly portrayed as one-dimensional in national and international news media. While this film addresses the urgent and widespread issues of patriarchy, son-preference, sexual violence, and homophobia that are prevalent in Indian society, it also shows the responsibilities and challenges confronting Indian men today. Instead of showcasing the stereotypes of Indian manhood, the film features experiences of four men who are actively making different choices in their lives and serve as a hope for a more equitable future for the nation.