The film “Inside Out” was born out of the angst that even in the 21st century, in a city as liberal and safe and cosmopolitan as Mumbai (India), women’s access to public space is limited and largely relegated to the sphere of purposefulness. Today, women are increasingly accessing the public sphere but with certain restrictions of unwritten rules. They are out there doing only a certain kind of work, dressed a certain way and almost always existing as consumers in markets or malls, caretakers for children in parks, or office-going purposeful women. But what happens when one just wants to be? When one pursues unconventional roles in the public domain? How thin is the line of acceptable conduct in public for a woman, and what happens if one dares to cross it? Can one cross it at all? Can a woman ever access public space as freely and completely as a man, or will she forever be aware of the multiplicity of gazes that are on her, including her own? The film brings out the experiences of different women negotiating public space in their own way. The film also in essence talks of a universal experience of all women attempts at looking at the need to just experience the city purposelessly and in doing so, the need to reclaim, or perhaps claim for the first time, an unfettered access to public space.
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