The Kashmir Files producer and actor Pallavi Joshi issued an official statement on Tuesday afternoon after Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who was serving as the head of the jury at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), called the Vivek Agnihotri directorial a ‘vulgar, propaganda film’.
While Vivek Agnihotri posted a cryptic message on his social media, his wife, co-producer and actor of the film Pallavi Joshi, shared on social media that it was “unfortunate that a creative platform was used for a political agenda to preserve an old, false, and jaded narrative about Kashmir.” She called Nadav’s comments “rude and vulgar” and labeled him a “genocide denier.”
Her statement read, “For decades the international community remained silent on the sufferings of the Kashmiri Pandit Community. After 3 decades, the Indian film industry finally realised that it needs to tell India’s story truthfully and objectively. Vivek and I were always aware that there are elements that would not like to see the stark truth on the screen, but it is very unfortunate that a creative platform was used for a political agenda to preserve an old, false, and jaded narrative about Kashmir. We are overwhelmed by the way the people of India rose to defend The Kashmir Files against the rude and vulgar statements of a genocide denier. I would like to assure our audience and supporters that ‘The Kashmir Files’ remains a people’s film.”
She ended her statement with, “I also want to thank the Israeli Ambassador HE Naor Gilon and the Consul General Shri Kobbi Shoshani for their support. I Am Buddha stands for India and we will continue the path of truth and resilience to keep making meaningful cinema with original Indian content.” I Am Buddha is the name of Pallavi and Vivek’s production house.
Various celebrities have chimed in with their opinions on the issue as Nadav Lapid’s statement shocked many. Anupam Kher, who has been riding high on the success of the film and has been talking about it for months now, said that the film was “honouring the truth.” He said on social media, “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 souls, which are dead, are desperately trying to prove this truth false. But this film is now a movement, not a film. Let the #Toolkit gang keep trying.”
At the closing ceremony of IFFI, Nadav Lapid, “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.”