In a turn of unexpected events, Nadav Lapid, IFFI's jury head, during the film festival called Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri's The Kashmir Files 'vulgar' and 'inappropriate'. Terming it a propaganda film, he said that the spirit of the festival can surely accept a critical discussion as well, which is essential for art and life. The video from the closing ceremony of the festival wherein Lapid is seen making controversial remarks about the film went viral.
Lapid said that the IFFI was disturbed about this film. Sharing the experience of the jury, he said that 14 out of them (international films) had cinematic quality. "All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film 'The Kashmir Files'. That felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival," Lapid added.
"I feel totally comfortable to openly share these feelings here with you on this stage. Since, the spirit of the festival can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life," he said.
Actor Anupam Kher, who played a key role in 'The Kashmir Files' took a jibe at IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid for calling the film "propaganda, vulgar" at the festival's closing ceremony on Monday. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also slammed Lapid.
Referring to Lapid's remarks, Anupam Kher tweeted, "No matter how high the height of the lie is.. It is always small in comparison to the truth." He attached pictures from the movie with his tweet.
On Tuesday morning Anupam Kher also spoke to media. "If the holocaust was right then the exodus of Kashmiri pandits is also right. This seems pre-planned because immediately after it the tool-kit gang became active. It's shameful for him to make a statement like this even though he comes from a community of Jews who suffered from the holocaust," he said, adding, "So by making a statement like this, he has also pained those people who suffered this tragedy. I would just say may god give him wisdom so that he doesn't use the tragedy of thousands of people to fulfill his aim on stage."
On November 23, Anupam Kher, lead actor in this movie, speaking about the 'The Kashmir files' had said that it helped people all over the world to be aware of the tragedy that happened to Kashmiri Pandits community in 1990s.
"It is a film based on true incidents. Film Director Vivek Agnihotri interviewed around 500 people all around the world for the movie. On the night of January 19, 1990, five lakh Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their homes and memories in the Kashmir Valley following rising violence. As a Kashmiri Hindu, I lived with the tragedy. But nobody was recognising the tragedy. World was trying to hide this tragedy. The film started a healing process by documenting the tragedy," Kher had added.
'The Kashmir Files' released earlier this year in theatres and it told the story about the Hindu exodus in the 1990s and targeted killings of the Kashmiri Pandits. The movie went on to become one of the highest-grossing Bollywood movies of 2022 and Anupam Kher received acclaim for his performance.
-- with inputs from agencies
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