"I feel totally comfortable to openly share these feelings"
Israeli director and head of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury, Nadav Lapid has slammed The Kashmir Files for allegedly pushing “inappropriate and vulgar propaganda”.
He said the film encouraged right-wing extremist patriotism during the closing ceremony of the festival.
Lapid stated that all IFFI jury members were “disturbed and shocked” by The Kashmir Files, calling it “unacceptable” to screen at such a “prestigious film festival” and having anti-Muslim themes.
In a speech, he addressed the crowd:
“That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.
“I feel totally comfortable to openly share these feelings here with you on this stage.
“In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life.”
Lapid, speaking on behalf of the jury, compared Vivek Agnihotri’s film to 14 others in the category that, in contrast to the former, he felt had “cinematic qualities, defaults, and evoked vivid discussions”.
Though there was significant criticism of the statements, a fellow panellist named Sudipto Sen took to Twitter to clear up the controversial remarks.
Sen made it clear that Lapid’s comments and thoughts were his own.
He said: “As jurors, we are assigned to judge the technical, aesthetic quality and socio-cultural relevance of a film.
“We don’t indulge in any kind of political comments on any film and if it is done, it is completely in a personal capacity.”
Following Lapid’s comments, Vivek Agnihotri responded with a video.
the director of The Kashmir Files, Vivek Agnihotri has responded with a video on Twitter.
He said: “This is nothing new for me. Because such things are often said by terrorist organisations, urban Naxals and by those who want to divide the country.
“What is shocking to me is that the narrative supported by those who wish to separate Kashmir from India was voiced at the stage of an event organised by the government of India.
“And a few who live in India used it against the country. Who are these people?”
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) November 29, 2022
The filmmaker claimed that such individuals have been criticising his film since he started investigating the issue surrounding Kashmir four years ago
During a media interview, Anupam Kher also addressed Lapid’s controversial remarks.
“It seems pre-planned as immediately after that the toolkit gang became active.”
“It’s shameful for him to make a statement like this. Jews have suffered Holocaust and he comes from that community.
“For him to make such a statement, he has also pained those people who have been victims of this tragedy many years ago.
“May God give him wisdom so that he does not further his agenda on stage using the sufferings of thousands.”
The Kashmir Files depicts the departure of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir as a result of terrorist attacks that resulted in the deaths of members of the community.
One of the top Hindi films of the year, the highly talked-about movie sparked controversy after its March 2022 release.