The Congress on Tuesday took aim at the government over Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s criticism of ‘The Kashmir Files’ at IFFI, calling it an “embarrassment” and saying that hate eventually gets called out.
The attack by the Opposition party leaders came after Lapid, the jury head of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), on Monday described the Hindi film as “propaganda” and “vulgar”.
“PM Modi, his govt, BJP, the RW ecosystem feverishly promoted ‘The Kashmir Files’, a movie rejected by International Film Festival Of India. Jury Head Nadav Lapid called it ‘propaganda, vulgar movie – inappropriate for the film festival’,” Congress spokesperson and head of the party’s social media department Supriya Srinate said.
“Hate gets called out, eventually,” Srinate said in a tweet late Monday night.
In a tweet on Tuesday, another Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed said, “International Film Festival Of India Jury President Nadav Lapid calls ‘The Kashmir Files’ vulgar propaganda. In a bid to polarise the people of India, the BJP govt went all out in promoting the movie, resulting in a huge embarrassment for India on the international scale!”
In his speech at the closing ceremony of IFFI 2022, Lapid said he was “disturbed and shocked” to see the film being screened at the film festival.
“All of us were disturbed and shocked by the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’. It felt to us like a propaganda and vulgar movie that was inappropriate for an artistic and competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel comfortable to openly share this feeling with you since the spirit of the festival can truly accept critical discussion which is essential for art and life,” Lapid said.
After Lapid criticised the film, the country’s envoy to India Naor Gilon slammed him, saying he should be “ashamed” as he had “abused in the worst way” the Indian invitation to him to chair the panel of judges at the film festival.
‘The Kashmir Files’, which was released in theatres on March 11, was part of the Indian Panorama Section at IFFI and was screened on November 22.
Meanwhile, the film’s director Vivek Agnihotri on Monday seemingly took a dig at Nadav Lapid for calling it “propaganda”, “vulgar”. Agnihotri tweeted, “GM. Truth is the most dangerous thing. It can make people lie. #CreativeConsciousness.”
Lapid’s remarks did not go down well with many others. Actors Anupam Kher and Darshan Kumaar, who played key roles in ‘The Kashmir Files’, along with filmmaker Ashoke Pandit and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha vice-president Abhinav Prakash were among the people who condemned the controversial comments.
‘The Kashmir Files’ tells the story of the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley and their targeted killings in the 1990s. The movie became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood movies of 2022, with Anupam Kher receiving acclaim for his performance.