The Sound of Silence
India. 2017. 51 min
One of the most telling testimonials in The Sound of Silence, Bina Paul’s documentary on how gender issues play out in Kerala’s colleges, is by Dinu, a student in Kozhikode.
In 2015, Dinu was suspended for breaking one of the rules stipulated by his college: “Girls and boys must sit separately in a classroom.” When Dinu tried to question the rule, he and his friends were asked to leave the classroom. The situation worsened when the principal ruled that Dinu and his classmates could enter the classroom only after they brought their parents to college.
A stay order from the local court finally got Dinu back into the classroom.
“How does sitting together on a bench become a disciplinary issue?” he poignantly asks in Paul’s compelling documentary. “It was nothing but moral policing.”