The short film “Natkhat”, starring and co-produced by Vidya Balan, depicts how toxic masculinity and patriarchy are instilled in kids right from the start through various small and big instances.
Speaking about the concept, the film’s director Shaan Vyas said: “‘Natkhat’ is a film that addresses the fact that no matter how many reforms and institutions we set up to address female oppression, fundamental deep-rooted change can only be brought about by proper parenting and teaching children the values of equality at an early age.”
“When me and my co-creator Annukampa Harsh went out to research for the film, we realised that every sensory cue available to a child is representative of a power-difference between men and women. He looks around and finds policemen, army men, male politicians, male principals in school, and even in entertainment, male heroes,” he added.
Continuing on external forces that influence kids, Vyas said: “These social forces are too strong and parents can’t control this. The kids assimilate this and form belief systems that men may just be the more superior gender. The one thing that parents can change though is the way that their own children see this and perceive this inequality.”
The narrative of the 33-minute film revolves around a mother educating her son about gender equality. The film is co-produced by Vidya Balan along with Ronnie Screwvala.