Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live
HEAD IFFI JURY CALLS THE FILES KASHMIR ‘VULGAR’, DRAWS SHARP REACTIONS
of the film Lapid’s criticism closing at the festival’s Monday ceremony on
If he (Nadav Lapid) does not like a film, he is most welcome to say it. But if you’re a jury member, you cannot use words like ‘vulgar’ and ‘propaganda’. It’s a vulgar remark by a person who is vulgar and an opportunist.
The closing ceremony of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is making headlines because of a statement made by jury head Nadav Lapid. The Israeli screenwriter criticised the film The Kashmir Files (TKF) that was screened at the festival, saying, “That felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.” Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, the film is claimed to be a fictional representation of the ’90s exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir.
The Israel ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, reacted sharply to Lapid’s comments. He tweeted, “In Indian culture they say that a guest is like
God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you.” Director Sudipto Sen, who was the only Indian member in the jury, took to Twitter to point out the films’ “subjective interpretations”.
Soon after Lapid’s speech surfaced online, social media was abuzz, with people associated with the film or in support of TKF expressing anger towards the comment. In a press conference with Consulate General of Israel, Kobbi Shoshani, actor Anupam Kher, who played the lead role in the film, said, “If he does not like a film, he is most welcome to say it. But if you’re a jury member, you cannot use words like ‘vulgar’ and ‘propaganda’. It’s a vulgar remark by a person who is vulgar and an opportunist.”
Actor Darshan Kumar, who was also a part of the film, told ANI, “Everyone has their own individual opinions on anything they see and perceive. But one can’t deny the fact is that TKF depicted the actual plight of the Kashmiri Pandit community.”
The film’s producer, Pallavi Joshi, shared on Insta: “It is unjust and unacceptable to stain one of the finest films of the Indian cinema with vulgar comments that delineate the harsh reality of a segment of our nation.”
In a video shared with us, Agnihotri said, “...Mere liye aashcharyajanak baat ye hai ki Bharat sarkar dwara aayojit Bharat sarkar ke manch pe Kashmir ko Bharat se alag karne wale terrorists ke narrative ko support kiya gaya... Main challenge karta hoon ki The Kashmir Files ke ek shot, ek dialogue ya event ko koi prove kar de, ki yeh poori tarah se satya nahin hai, toh main filmein banana chhod dunga (sic).”