A poster for a documentary directed by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has drawn flak on social media for hurting religious sentiments with the depiction of Goddess Kaali. The filmmaker had earlier taken to Twitter to share a poster of her film which depicted a woman dressed in a costume portraying the goddess and smoking. A flag of the LGBT community is seen in the background. The film was part of the "Rhythms of Cananda" segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, according to a tweet by the filmmaker.
"Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film - today at @AgaKhanMuseum as part of its 'Rhythms of Canada'. Feeling pumped with my CREW," Leena tweeted. Soon after the poster was dropped, Leena Manimekalai landed in a bitter controversy over the poster depicting Goddess Kaali as a smoking woman.
Who is Leena Manimekalai
Leena Manimekalai is a Madurai-born, Toronto-based filmmaker. She made her feature directorial debut with 2021's "Maadathy - An Unfairy Tale." The author and documentary director faced backlash on social media after sharing a poster of her short film 'Kaali' depicting Goddess Kaali as a smoking woman. The controversy erupted after she shared the poster of her film depicting a woman dressed in a costume portraying the Goddess and smoking. She is also seen holding an LGBTQ flag. After this, she was accused of hurting Hindu sentiments. ALSO READ: 'Kaali' Poster: Indian High Commission in Canada seeks removal, says 'Withdraw provocative material'
As the poster went viral, irked netizens demanded action against the director. #ArrestLeenaManimekalai was trending all over social media on July 4.
In response to the attacks, Manimekalai hit back to say she was willing to pay with her life."I have nothing to lose. Till the time I live, I wish to live with a voice that speaks what I believe without fear. If the price for that is my life, it can be given," Manimekalai wrote in a Twitter post in Tamil in response to an article on the controversy. Kaali poster controversy: Leena Manimekalai says 'will continue to use voice fearlessly till alive'
She also urged people to watch the film to understand the context behind the poster. "The film is about the events during Kaali's strolls through the streets of Toronto city one fine evening. If they watch the movie, they will put the hashtag 'love you Leena Manimekalai' rather than 'Arrest Leena Manimekalai'," she added.