While the controversy surrounding the butter rape scene in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris has hardly settled, an instance from Rekha’s biography by Yasser Usman has now surfaced on the Internet. Bertolucci sent shockwaves across the film fraternity when he revealed that the scene was non-consensual. As it turns out something similar happened closer home, and that too much before Last Tango in Paris.
A page from Yasser Usman’s biography on the enigmatic Bollywood actress describes the whole scene in painstaking detail.
Rekha, who was only 15 then, couldn’t do anything except close her eyes to hide her trauma.
— Nikita Deshpande (@deepblueruin) December 7, 2016
Rekha, on the sets of her debut film Anjana Safar, was forcibly kissed by her leading man Biswajeet for five minutes, as the director kept the camera rolling and the crowd surrounding the film set cheered and whistled.
The incident seems eerily similar to the one in Last Tango In Paris where a 19-year-old Maria Schneider was lured into a film set by a 48-year-old Brando and his director.
But why wasn’t this worth an outrage at that time? It was apparently common, those days, for women to undergo sexist treatment like this, and keep mum to save their careers.
A lot of Hollywood A-list actors like Chris Evans and Jessica Chastain have expressed their disgust over how something like this was even allowed. Let’s hope celebrities closer home speak up against the gross misconduct that Rekha had to face as a teenager in the hands of a much older co-star and director.