Actors, filmmakers and film enthusiasts on Sunday took to the streets to protest against the withdrawal of director Anik Dutta’s film “Bhobishyoter Bhoot” from theatres in the city.
The rally was led by veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Indian-American film and television actor Jayant Kripalani, veteran actor-director Aparna Sen and director Dutta himself.
Artistes and technicians from film studios, young film enthusiasts and students, wore skeleton and ghost masks with slogans demanding explanation for the withdrawal of the film from cinema halls. Some raised slogans alleging “silence of the administration and the ruling establishment” over this issue.
A day after its release, the movie was pulled off from movie theatres in Kolkata on February 16. The political satire, through dark humour, comments on nearly every important subject across the spectrum. It revolves around a group of dejected ghosts who take shelter in a refugee camp. While the many single-screen owners suggested it was a “technical issue”, multiplexes said it was an order from “authorities.” The producers now are contemplating taking the legal route to resume the screenings.
“I am surprised to see the response of the people who have come here and supported the cause. I thank them all,” said Dutta.
Actor-filmmaker Aparna Sen said banning a film passed by the censor board was amounting to curb the freedom of speech.
“We had hit the streets when people were killed in Nandigram under the previous government. We will also hit the streets every time someone tries to throttle the freedom of speech,” Sen said.
Condemning the withdrawal of the film, multiple National Award winning director Buddhadeb Dasgupta said, “I had to physically join the protests. It is high time we raise our voice against such autocracy.”
Movie director Sandip Ray, the son of auteur Satyajit Ray, in a message registered his protest against the withdrawal of the film. Earlier, an appeal to join the march in the city was issued by Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Tarun Majumder, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and veteran poet Sankha Ghosh.