Vivek Agnihotri-directed The Kashmir Files was screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa under the Indian Panorama Section on November 22. The film starring Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Darshan Kumaar, Bhasha Sumbli, Pallavi Joshi, Puneet Issar, Chinmay Mandlekar, Prakash Belawadi, Atul Srivastava and Mrinal Kulkarni released in theatres on March 11. While The Kashmir Files struck the right emotional chord with the entire nation and world, filmmaker Nadav Lapid called it 'vulgar' and a 'propaganda' film during the closing ceremony of IFFI.
In a viral video from the closing ceremony of IFFI, the Israeli screenwriter and film director Nadav told, "I would like to thank the head of the festival and the director of the programming for the cinematic richness of the programme, for its diversity, for its complexity. It was intense. We saw seven films in the debutant competition, and 15 films in the international competition, the front window of the festival. 14 out of them had cinematic qualities, defaults and evoked vivid discussions."
#Breaking: #IFFI Jury says they were “disturbed and shocked” to see #NationalFilmAward winning #KashmirFiles, “a propoganda, vulgar movie” in the competition section of a prestigious festival— organised by the Govt of India.
Over to @vivekagnihotri sir…
— Navdeep Yadav (@navdeepyadav321) November 28, 2022
He further said, "All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable openly sharing these feelings here with you at this stage. In the spirit of this festival, we can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life."
Reacting to Nadav's comment, director Vivek tweeted cryptically, "Truth is the most dangerous thing. It can make people lie. "
Truth is the most dangerous thing. It can make people lie. #CreativeConsciousness
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) November 29, 2022
Anupam reacted, "About The Kashmir Files, I would tell that individual that may God give him wisdom. I would just say that because speaking of such matters outside a temple isn’t right. We’ll give a proper reply to it. If holocaust is right, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits is right too. 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."
#WATCH | Anupam Kher speaks to ANI on Int'l Film Festival of India Jury Head remarks for 'Kashmir Files', "...If holocaust is right, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits is right too. Seems pre-planned as immediately after that the toolkit gang became active. May God give him wisdom.." pic.twitter.com/cUQ1bqzFs7
— ANI (@ANI) November 29, 2022
Darshan, who played the protagonist in The Kashmir Files, said in a statement to a media agency, "Everyone has their own individual opinions on anything they see and perceive .... But one can't deny the fact is that The Kashmir files is a film which has depicted the actual plight of Kashmiri pandit community... who are still fighting for justice against the brutal acts of terrorism... so this film is not on vulgarity but on reality."
The Kashmir Files, one of this year's highest-grossing films, was based on real incidents that took place in the Kashmir Valley in the early 1990s that involved the targetted killings of Kashmiri Pandits and the subsequent mass exodus of the community.
(Source: Inputs from ANI/Twitter)