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Anupam Kher reacts to IFFI jury head calling The Kashmir Files ‘propaganda, vulgar film’: ‘Every country has its enemies’

Anupam Kher decried IFFI jury head Nadav Lapid's comment on The Kashmir Files. He claimed that despite its detractors, the film is a movement now.

A poster of The Kashmir Files movie. (Photo: ZeeStudios_/Twitter)

The Kashmir Files’ lead actor Anupam Kher took a swipe at International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury chief Nadav Lapid in a new video that was shared on his social media handle Tuesday afternoon. Responding to the Israeli filmmaker Lapid’s comment that he was “shocked” and “disturbed” by The Kashmir Files’ inclusion in the IFFI competitive section, the actor said while any Israeli citizen will understand the subject matter of his film, “every country has its own set of enemies”.

Lapid called The Kashmir Files “propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival” in his comments at the closing ceremony of the festival. The film, based on the exodus and killing of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in 1990, has invited divisive opinions since its release. However, despite the controversies, the film emerged as one of the biggest box office successes in India.


 

“The truth of ‘The Kashmir files’ is stuck like a thorn in the throat of some people. They are neither able to swallow it nor spit it out! Their soul is dead and they are desperately struggling to prove the film’s truth as a lie. But our film is now a movement, not a film. The despicable #Toolkit gang keep trying,” Anupam wrote about the controversial film.

Kher had earlier tweeted posters of The Kashmir Files, along with a still of the Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List, and a few photos of the Holocaust. He wrote, “झूट का क़द कितना भी ऊँचा क्यों ना हो.. सत्य के मुक़ाबले में हमेशा छोटा ही होता है.. (No matter how big the lie may seem, it always falls small in front of the truth).”

He was seen stepping out of the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on Tuesday morning, where he spoke to reporters about the last night’s events. Calling it “shameful,” he suggested that everything was pre-planned. He also said that the the team will prepare ‘a proper reply’ shortly.

He said, “He belongs to the community… for him to make a statement like this… he has also pained those people, who have suffered years back. All I wish is that God gives him wisdom. He should also not use such a prestigious platform using people’s tragedy for his motive


 


 

Earlier, the film’s director Vivek Agnihotri responded to the statements through a Tweet. “GM. Truth is the most dangerous thing. It can make people lie. #CreativeConsciousness,” he posted.

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Darshan Kumar, who plays a pivotal role in The Kashmir Files, also expressed his disappointment. In an interview with ETimes, the actor said while everybody is entitled to their opinions, the film “has depicted the actual plight of Kashmiri pandit community, who are still fighting for justice against the brutal acts of terrorism.” He further added, “So this film is not on vulgarity but on reality.”

Nadav Lapid in his closing speech said: “Usually, I don’t read from paper. This time, I want to be precise. I want to thank the director and head of the programming of the festival for its cinematic richness, the diversity and complexity…There were 15 films in the international competition — the front window of the festival. Fourteen out of them had the cinematic qualities…and evoked vivid discussions. We were, all of us, disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.”

“I feel totally comfortable to share openly these feelings here with you on stage since the spirit that we felt in the festival can surely accept a critical discussion which is essential for art and life,” he added.

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Lapid delivered his remarks before a number of dignitaries, including Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur, as well as prominent actors such as Asha Parekh, Akshay Kumar, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rana Daggubati.

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 09:15 IST
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