‘Cinema can’t help fight terrorism’
Filmmaker Kabir Khan, who directed many films with conflict at the centre of the plot, says cinema can’t be a crusader
Be it Kabul Express (2006), New York (2009) or his latest film Phantom, director Kabir Khan’s (above) films have openly discussed terrorism, but the director says that cinema cannot combat this growing global menace. “Cinema can’t be carrying crusades; it is ultimately the perspective of individual filmmakers. If I feel strongly against terrorism, then I will express it. But I don’t know if I will try and muster more filmmakers into making films against terrorism,” he says.
“Cinema can help in making people think about issues and discuss and debate. It helps in throwing up certain questions. But it can’t directly help in fighting terrorism. I think that would be giving cinema a lot of responsibility,” he adds.
With the theme of terrorism, comes a lot of action, which is visible in all of Kabir’s movies. The Bajrangi Bhaijaan director says his films may have been high on action, but he has never glorified violence through them. “There is a lot of violence being used in Bollywood films, and sometimes they glorify it in a certain way. It is a very tricky space. Sometimes to appeal to the youth, you can easily cross the line and go into a space where you would rather not venture. Ultimately, it is left to individual filmmakers to decide where he or she draws the line,” he says.
Kabir started his career working on documentary films based around Afghanistan. He then made his feature film directorial debut in 2006 with Kabul Express, which was partly inspired by his experiences in war-torn Afghanistan. The director says even though he has now become an established Bollywood filmmaker, he still might one day go back to making just documentaries. “When I was doing documentaries, there was no platform for them in India. I wanted my work to reach the mainstream audience, so I shifted to films. But I can still one day take the camera, go somewhere and get back to making documentaries,” he says.