Hot Docs 2017: Our Review of ‘Ask The Sexpert’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2017, Movies by - April 25, 2017
Hot Docs 2017: Our Review of ‘Ask The Sexpert’

Vaisali Sinha adds Ask The Sexpert into a body of work that looks into problems facing today’s people. Specifically, it examines technology and modern life. Because those complicate the way the youth gets access to sex education.

Everyday, Dr. Mahinder C. Watsa answers anonymous questions that people send him about sex. His humorous but helpful advice is popular with the youth of India. He also takes in-person appointments from people who ask questions about things about how normal their sex lives are. His column and medical practice fills the void of the sex education that’s the Indian government is slashing.

Sinha’s film has strong female voices surrounding him. One of these voices is actually his biggest detractor. The film gives some focus on Dr. Pratibha Naithani who prefers a ‘moral approach’ to sex. To her, Watsa’s column promotes sex and contributes to the problems that sex brings. She also uses the argument that advice is not absolute.

On the other hand, there’s Meenal Bhagel. She’s his boss in the Mumbai Mirror who commends his daily dedication to the column. She reveals that his column was a ‘hook that turned into something serious.

Watsa’s fame embarrasses him the same way others giggling while evading the sex talk. Sinha spends time interviewing random people in the streets of Mumbai to ask their opinion about the column. Some of them admit to reading the column, some claim that ‘they know about it from others’. Others, however, call out others on pretending not to read the column. Her profile of a man is not just about him but of a perpetually young yet ambivalent country. And they are an important part of this conversation about sex. With this film Sinha keeps the tone light, her aesthetic unshowy, letting the information take the forefront.



  • Release Date: 5/1/2017
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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