The Unrelenting Misogyny of Kerala’s Red Films

Some of the finest movies, actors and technicians in Indian cinema have come out of Kerala. When it comes to quality, Malayalam movies are probably the best in the country. Kerala is also one of the most politically aware states in India and this is reflected in the movies that are made in the state. During the 1980’s and 90’s political movies were quite popular. Even now such movies are made, though not as many. Preponderance of the leftist ideology among the faculty at film schools, and generally among the exponents of the creative arts, means that most political movies espouse the cause of Communism. I call such movies, Red Films. I have talked in more detail about the subject of red films in my past vlog about communism. If you haven’t watched that video yet, please do. It is available here.

Because politics is such an integral part of people’s lives in Kerala, the ideological stringency of the red films made in Malayalam is that much more fanatical. In addition to being propaganda vehicles for communism and generally the broader leftist ideology, the red films feature other constant elements. A pronounced disdain for women and their role in the society, particularly in politics, is one of them. This might come as a surprise considering all the noise leftists make around women’s empowerment, feminism etc. But not if you have been closely observing the political philosophy underneath their empty virtue signalling. To demonstrate my thesis that misogyny is a constant feature of red films made in Kerala, I will discuss two movies that were separated by almost three decades but have identical central elements.

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