What’s the right way to shoot sexual violence in films? Priyamani shares her experience

Written by Manoj Kumar R
| Bengaluru |

Published:December 11, 2016 4:35 pm

Priyamani had acted in gruesome rape scene in Paruthiveeran
A firestorm of controversy broke out last week after Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci’s old interview resurfaced on the internet. The Hollywood controversy also reminded us of a similar story that unfolded in Bollywood decades ago. In the 2013 video clip, the director revealed the infamous ‘butter rape scene’ in the film that was shot without the consent of then 19-year-old Maria Schneider. In the scene, Marlon Brando uses butter as the lubricant while having simulated sex with Maria. It was Marlon who had this idea and had Bernardo’s agreement on it. The film’s director Raja Nawathe had a justification for his utter disregard for Rekha’s consent, which was akin to Bernardo’s. Actors don’t get paid to be humiliated or to be taken advantage of. Maria was told about this just before the shoot and was forced into doing it. Filmmakers must take the female actors into confidence and their consensus, irrespective of how small or big a scene is. Rekha, who was just 15 at the time, was kissed on her lips by senior actor Biswajeet without her consent while shooting for Anjana Safar. The ‘butter rape scene’ was initially not in the script. The director wanted to capture the “surprise reaction” of Rekha. Read: When a 15- year-old Rekha was allegedly molested by actor Biswajeet
Whatever creative explanation can these directors come up with, what happened to the female actors of Anjana Safar and Last Tango in Paris is not acceptable. The actor involved was Rekha and the year was 1970.