Review: Chutney Popcorn (1999)

Chutney Popcorn (1999) is about a young Indian American lesbian named Reena who is put off by her family’s pressure to marry and have kids. But when her sister Sarita learns she’s infertile, Reena puts herself forward as a surrogate.

It’s a really cool snapshot of lesbian culture and Indian culture in 1999 New York. It’s a really interesting look at queer parenthood and non-traditional families. I also liked seeing an older queer movie where there’s conflict, but not queer people getting hurt.

Even the over-bearing family-obsessed homophobic mother still loves Reena and wants her to be happy. Not always in useful ways, but she’s there when it counts and comes to accept Reena’s girlfriend as an important part of the family and adjusts her customs for her.

It’s always cool to see POC queer movies, especially older ones, and be reminded how different the queer experience can be across many cultures. As well as the unique challenges of queer parenthood. (12 years before gay marriage was legalized in New York.)

It was charming and very indie and very 1990s. You should definitely check it out. It’s free on Amazon Prime right now.

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