The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has cleared Malayalam director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s film Sexy Durga as S Durga. With a U/A certificate, the film now has 21 audio mutes but no scene-cuts. “The film is established and known internationally as Sexy Durga; in India, people are free to interpret S Durga in whichever way they like. The agitation against it is nonsensical and I’ve clarified several times that my film has nothing to do with religion. When people see the film, they will come to know what it is about,” says Sasidharan.
His film was earlier denied exemption for certification by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, for it to be screened at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. With a CBFC certificate, S Durga is eligible to be screened at any Indian film festival now. On the name change, the 39-year-old says, “This is the saddest part. They’ve seen the film and know that there is nothing against Durga. Their only problem was that some people are agitated with the name, so in order to appease them, the name has to be changed. Anyway the film is very established, even if you make it S Durga, A Durga, B Durga, the film will remain Sexy Durga.”
He adds that the audio mutes were just to silence the local abusive words used, and are insignificant, and the film is “totally safe”. On Facebook, he posted a new poster of the movie and wrote, “Sexy Durga will be released in Indian cinemas as S Durga. S is a letter open for your imaginations. Bakths are specially requested to not imagine it as ‘sexy’.” The film bagged the prestigious Hivos Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in February this year and the story revolves around an eloping couple in Kerala looking for a ride to the railway station in the middle of the night, and the horrors they endure on the way.