Tamil filmmaker Leena Manimekalai slams ‘Chennai Express’,’Madras Cafe’https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/tamil-filmmaker-leena-manimekalai-slams-chennai-express-madras-cafe-2/

Tamil filmmaker Leena Manimekalai slams ‘Chennai Express’,’Madras Cafe’

Leena Manimekalai has slammed 'Madras Cafe' and 'Chennai Express' for portraying Tamil issues in a distorted way.

Tamil filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has slammed two recent Hindi films ‘Madras Cafe’ and ‘Chennai Express’ for portraying Tamil issues in a distorted way,based on inadequate research.

Manimekalai,who is also a poet and an actor,said during the ongoing Jamshedpur film festival that the two films presented a distorted picture of Tamil sensibilities.

“I am sorry to say that the Hindi movies being produced from Mumbai on issues related to Tamil Nadu are politically wrong,cruel and even insulting to Tamil population,” the director,who has nine documentaries to her credit and has published three anthologies of poems,said.

One of Manimekalai’s films ‘The Dead Sea’ had been shown in the film festival. The film,which was banned by the Censor Board in 2011 and was later allowed to be released,depicted the plight of Tamil fishermen refugees fleeing from a war-ravaged Sri Lanka to India.

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She claimed that many Tamil fishermen were killed since the 1980s by Sri Lankan Navy personnel on the charges of trespassing into their territory while fishing in the deep sea.

Manimekalai said that everybody,including the Tamil Nadu government,had maintained silence on the killing of these fishermen during the turmoil in Sri Lanka.

She said that her film broke this silence on the plight of the fishermen and other refugees.

She went on to claim that her film had earned accolades in many film festivals after its clearance by the Censor Board.

The filmmaker was joined by Himanshu Sekhar Khatua,whose debut Odiya film ‘Shunya Swarropa’ won the best Odiya film award in the 44th National Film Festival,and Birju Rajak,a Jamshedpur-based director,in berating Hindi cinema,saying the big budget productions were not true Indian cinema,but a commodity solely designed to make money.

Interacting with students and the media in the film festival,organized by city-based film society “Celluloid Chapter”,they regretted that the film societies were dying out due to the invasion of technology like internet and digital camera.

Khatua said that no international film festival was being organized in eastern India,barring the Kolkata International Film Festival.

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“Even the Kolkata festival is dying out slowly due to “political interference”,he alleged and appreciated the fact that Jamshedpur had been hosting a genuine film festival for last 28 years.