Mardistan (Macholand) is an exploration of Indian manhood articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds. A middle-aged writer trying to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed studying in an elite military academy, a Sikh father

of twin daughters resisting the pressure to produce a son, a young 20-year-old college student looking for a girlfriend with whom he can lose his virginity, and a working-class gay activist coming out to his wife after twenty years of marriage. Together, their stories make up different dimensions of what it means to be a man in India today. Mardistan (Macholand) starts a conversation on critical issues including patriarchy, son preference, sexual violence and homophobia in a nation increasingly defined by social inequalities.


“… (a) very thoughtful and insightful… a rich provocation, a nuanced reflection, and even richer  ethnographic text… a teaching resource by anthropologist in various ways - for gender studies,

urban studies, and South Asian or International Studies, as well as for its excellent example of

visual methods to use in ethnography.”

    Tarini BediAmerican Anthropologist

“Mardistan presents Indian masculinities in all their complexities as they emerge in a context of a powerful and shifting debate in India on sexual violence, sexual rights and citizenship. This is a powerful, insightful, and teachable film that overturns simplistic notions of gender and seeks to widen the debate on the relation between patriarchy, masculinity, sexuality and gender.”

    — Inderpal Grewal, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies (Yale University) and author of

        Scattered Hegemonies, Home and Harem, and Transnational America

“... (a) thoughtful documentary that hopes for a brave new kind of Indian macho man”



South Asian International Documentary Film Festival, Seattle – February 2017

NY Indian Film Festival – May 2015

DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival – April 2015

University of Maryland, College Park (invited screening) – April 2015

Ethnografilm Festival, Paris – April 2015

Screening Scholarship Media Conference, University of Pennsylvania – March 2015

George Mason University (invited screening) – April 2015

Amherst College (invited screening) – March 2015

University of Toronto (invited screening) – March 2015

University of Guelph (invited screening) – March 2015

University of Maryland Baltimore County (invited screening) – February 2015

SCRIPT Film Festival, Kochi – February 2015

Winner: 2nd Place “Best Documentary”

International Festival of Prayag – February 2015

The FD Zone - Film Division, Mumbai – January 2015

Godrej Culture Lab, Mumbai – January 2015

Men & Boys for Gender Justice Festival JNU, New Delhi - November 2014

Open Frame Festival, New Delhi - September 2014

Canadian Anthropology Society Conference, York University, Toronto – May 2014


Doordarshan (Indian National TV) Fall 2015


28 mins. 2014, India

In Punjabi & English w/subtitles

Directed by Harjant Gill

Produced by PSBT (Public Service Broadcasting Trust)