"WHY KNOT leads us on a journey through the intellectual and emotional landscape of monogamy, questioning what it means to be human and to confront this conflict between our instincts and our morals."
WHY IS MONOGAMY SO IMPORTANT TO A RELATIONSHIP? WHY DO WE MARRY AND CHEAT?
Is sexual jealousy innate or nurtured?
WHY KNOT is a documentary film that tells the story of a filmmaker trying to separate love and sex as the chorus to marry grows louder.
As he attends lavish weddings occuring within his family, Dhruv is pressured to follow suit and tries to find answers to some pressing questions by interviewing his family and experts in the field as he struggles to mediate an open relationship with the woman he loves.
His search takes us beyond his bedroom and into the biology of sex, the history of patriarchy and the politics of monogamy where his girlfriend, scientists, polyamorists, Dhruv's loved one's, and even tapeworms become a part of this self-reflexive narrative.
As the eldest male of an Indian family, I have been pressured to get married ever since I graduated from college but I have always felt uncomfortable committing to a vow of monogamy for the rest of my life.
This realization troubled me and I began to research why we marry and pledge fidelity to one person by reading evolutionary psychology, biology and history to try and understand the relevance of these social norms today.
Then, in 2011, I met a woman who swept my heart away and I decided to start making this film.
This film's objective is not to advocate for or against monogamy, but to break the silence and provoke thought on an issue which affects so many relationships and families today.
Our vision is to empower relationships and to encourage communication within by helping us understand who we are and how to negotiate this conflict between our instincts & our morals.
In a day and age where governments and social norms still dictate who we can love and how to love, I believe that we should take a stand to make these decisions for ourselves.
DHRUV DHAWAN DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER OF WHYKNOT
Born in Mumbai and raised in Dubai, Dhruv Dhawan studied cultural anthropology at Duke University and filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. In 2004, he began his career directing and producing documentary and commercial films in Asia.
In 2005, Dhruv embarked on his debut feature, spending 10 months living in tents with tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka while shooting a documentary about disaster capitalism. "From Dust" premiered in the feature competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival and at Hot Docs where it opened to critical acclaim from the international press. The film secured distribution agreements with Films Transit International, The Cinema Guild and Amazon.com and was screened at the United Nations in May 2006 for its relevance to issues of human rights in the aftermath of natural disasters.
Thereafter, Dhruv has been hired to direct and shoot various other documentaries for international producers. Some of them include "Threads of Tradition", about the Indian Fashion Industry, which went onto won the MIPDOC Co-Pro Challenge at Cannes in 2008 and "Building Autism" which shadows an autistic savant and uncovers the link between autism and genius.
Dhruv is occasionally invited to speak at industry panels and educational institutions about the impact, distribution and future of documentary cinema. He also moonlights as a documentary cinematographer for other directors and producers and has sold some of his freelance camerawork to organizations such as the National Geographic Channel.
Dhruv is also an avid night photographer and his photography collection, "Mumbai Sleeping" has been exhibited and sold in art galleries around the world.
Dhruv currently resides between Vancouver and Dubai.
Nirmal Chander, has been working in the field of documentary film making for
the last 15 years. He started his career as an editor; the films edited by him have travelled to
many international festivals and have received awards.
He made his directorial debut in 2008 with "All The World's A Stage" (60 min), a documentary
on an internationally famous performance group called Sidi Goma. The film has been to many
international festivals and has won 5 awards.
His second film "Dreaming Taj Mahal" (51 min), his own production, is about a Pakistani taxi
driver who dreams of visiting India to realise his childhood dream. The film won a National award
for promoting peace and harmony across hostile borders. It has been screened at many
international festivals and won National Award 2012 and the Silver Conch in international feature
length competition section at MIFF 2012, Mumbai.
His latest film "Sab Lila Hai" (63 min) is about two politicians trying to wrench control of a local
Ramlila, famous for its Hindu-Muslim unity, in order to increase their vote bank.
All three films were telecast on Doordarshan or NDTV 24X7 and have been praised for their
Hang is originally from Vietnam and has been working in the film and fashion industry in Vancouver for the past 4 years. She is a busy woman who runs her own online business in addition to her career in the film and fashion industry. Hang is embarking on producing her first full length project with her boyfriend Dhruv Dhawan and has spent the past 2 years researching new models for alternative lifestyles in modern relationships.
Davinia Beaver is an entrepreneur, sports scientist and artist raised in Dubai and living in Australia. She began working with art galleries in Dubai at the age of 16 and since then has worked in various fields of the arts. In the last decade Dee has completed her sports science degree, been published in medical journals, started her own beach wear brand, been a producer of promotional videos for start up companies and free-lanced as a photographer and graphic designer. After the recent birth of her first child Dee is bringing her eclectic skill set into the documentary where the science of documenting collides with the artistry of telling a story.
Excerpts from key interviewees featured in WHY KNOT