Two more IFFI jury members slam The Kashmir Files
Two foreign members of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury have voiced solidarity with jury president and Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who had earlier said that the entire bench was in agreement about The Kashmir Files’ lack of artistic merit. In his closing remarks at this year’s festival, Lapid fuelled a controversy after calling director Vivek Agnihotri’s film a “vulgar” piece of “propaganda.”
In an interview with French newspaper Liberation, editor Pascale Chavance said, “It is so obvious that it is a propaganda film. Muslims are presented as monsters, without distinction.” Meanwhile, journalist Javier Angulo Barturen said, “I completely agree with what Nadav Lapid said in his speech, because it was the majority opinion within the jury.”
The other jury members included the Golden Bear-winning Lapid, BAFTA-winning producer Jinko Gotoh, and filmmaker Sudipto Sen.
On Saturday, the three foreign jury members also said that they stand by Lapid’s statement. Sen is the only jury member who had earlier said that Lapid had acted on his own.
Responding to his fellow jury members’ comments, Sen told The Indian Express, “I shall not change my statement, whatever I said to you and in other platform. My comments will remain same… It is true, that the said film was rejected in artistic ground. But, I objected to his (Lapid) statement – which was not ‘artistic’.”
In their joint statement, the three foreign jury members said, “At the festival’s closing ceremony, Nadav Lapid, the jury’s president, made a statement on behalf of the jury members stating: We were all of disturbed and shocked by the 15ths film, The Kashmir Files, that felt to us like a vulgar propaganda movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. We stand by his statement.”
“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 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 had said at the IFFI closing ceremony in Goa.
The Kashmir Files defied poor reviews to become a box office hit earlier this year. The film is based on the exodus of Kashmir Hindus from the Valley in the 1990s.
Source: The Indian Express