Funny Boy is now on Netflix!
Indonesian-Canadian director Deepa Mehta has done it again. Previously, Mehta has been praised for depicting Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern life through turmoil and triumph. She has a longstanding career of making critically acclaimed queer films like Elements Trilogy: Fire, Earth, and Water. Now, her latest queer film has been released on the Netflix streaming platform.
Funny Boy is a coming of age story following a privileged Tamil young man, named Arjie, growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. During that time, tensions between Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority and Tamil minority escalate and grow increasingly violent. The ethnically-charged civil war is then contrasted against Arjie’s blossoming queer romance with a Sinhalese classmate. Unfortunately, the two are then forced to face the reality of their situation in their chaotic country.
Deepa Mehta didn’t create this film alone, however, as she was joined by novelist Syam Selvadurai. The film’s script was based on a best-selling Canadian novel by Selvadurai.
“Our story needed to be told and I thought there was nothing for me, so I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to give a young Sri Lankan or South Asian queer writer a book where they could see themselves’…so that was the start of the novel,” Selvadurai told NPR.
If you want to see the movie for yourself, it is available on Netflix in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and some select cities. This is thanks to Ava DuVernay’s production company Array helping to support the film.
If you need further convincing, you can check out the trailer below.