Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid recently stirred up controversy when he hit out at Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files while speaking at the closing ceremony of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa and called it ‘vulgar’ and ‘a propaganda film’. His remarks were not taken kindly by either the netizens or his own country’s ambassadors and political leaders who called him out for his insensitive and uninformed remarks. Even Agnihotri, producer Pallavi Joshi and actors Anupam Kher and Puneet Issar called him out. However, now after facing severe backlash, Lapid has somewhat retracted his statement and called the film ‘brilliant’ but added that he merely did his duty by expressing his views on it.
Lapid in an interview given to an online portal reacted to the controversy. He said, “On propaganda: no one can determine what propaganda is, I accept this fact, it’s a brilliant movie. What I have done it’s my duty to say what I see. It’s a very subjective way.”
#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
Lapid had said in the closing ceremony, “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."
The Israeli envoy to India, Naor Gilon, slammed Nadav and apologized for his countryman's statement. In an open letter to him on Twitter, Naor said, "An open letter to #NadavLapid following his criticism of #KashmirFiles. It’s not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I’ll give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED."
In a series of tweets, Gilon said, “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.” He further added, “Our Indian friends brought @lioraz and @issacharoff from @FaudaOfficial in order to celebrate the love in #India towards #Fauda and #Israel. I suspect that this is maybe also one of the reasons they invited you as an Israeli and me as the ambassador of Israel.”
(Source: India Today)