The queer limits of Pratibha Parmar's Nina's Heavenly Delights

Mahn, Churnjeet (2013) The queer limits of Pratibha Parmar's Nina's Heavenly Delights. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 17 (3-4). pp. 317-328. ISSN 1540-3548

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Abstract

This article considers the impossibility and possibilities inherent in discussing queerness in films of the South Asian diaspora through the specific lens of Scotland. By using the contexts of "impossibility" in describing the same-sex desire between South Asian women in two different national contexts, this article argues that while same-sex desire becomes "possible" in the Scottish context of Parmar's film (conforming to a type of "coming out" story), Mehta's film cannot posit any open or stable lesbian subject. In light of this, even though Parmar's film may be the more optimistic realization of South Asian lesbian identity, its queer potential is shut down by the parameters of a Western coming out story.