Intimate Deceptions: Young British-Asian viewers discuss sexual relations on and off the Hindi film screen


Shakuntala Banaji

This article focuses on responses to issues of sexual intimacy, community discourse and the viewing of Hindi films by young British-Asians in London. Emerging from a twenty-eight month study of youth audiences during which I conducted numerous in-depth personal interviews with young viewers in London and Bombay, this article explores the ways in which some young British-Asian viewers’ sexual attitudes, values and behaviours are played out in public and private contexts.

Whilst considering the ways in which these young viewers experience sex and sexuality in the contemporary arena, I specifically address questions about the personal significance of Hindi film sequences in the development of their understandings of ethnicity, sex and sexuality. Saliently, I will argue that the ways in which British-Asian community discourses on sex and sexuality operate, while exaggerated or reinforced by certain Hindi films, are sometimes also undermined and challenged by the meanings that young people take away from their viewings of these films.