Monday, January 03, 2011


There are some films which need to be viewed in the context of the time it was made. Today, Victim, starring Dirk Bogarde, may sound silly and non-committal on the issues dealing with queer sexuality. However, considering the time it was released (1961), it’s a marvel that the film was actually got made.

The film is considered to be a major catalyst in de-criminalising homosexuality in Britain. It was banned in the US for the use of the word homosexual.

And consider Bogarde, the rising star of the day, who was probably gay in his personal life (He never said so, despite the fact that he authored several volumes of autobiography, and that he shared a house with his manager till the later’s death.), who had the courage to accept the role at a time when your being gay may invite a jail term.

The film highlights how an average gay man is like everyone else, and how he falls prey to blackmailers due to the existing law.

Things have changed considerably since in Britain. However, in India, the story of Victim still rings true and resonates with pathos.

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