Kerala Finance Minister and CPM central committee member T M Thomas Isaac on Friday publicly apologised to Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov for the manner in which his film Taurus, portraying the last years of Lenin, was targeted by the then Bengal CPM leadership in 2001 at a film festival in Kolkata. Taurus is Lenin’s zodiac sign.
In 2001, prominent Bengal CPM leaders Jyoti Basu and Biman Bose had hit out at Sokurov for portraying Lenin in bad light and questioned the festival’s screening committee for showing the film to the public.
Bose then told The Guardian newspaper that the film had distorted historical facts. The state was then ruled by the CPM.
However, in those years, films of Sokurov such as The Russian Ark and Mother and Son were received well at film festivals in Kerala, which has seen Communists and the Congress alternately in power over the years.
Isaac’s apology to Sokurov came at the concluding ceremony of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram where the Russian filmmaker was honoured with the lifetime achievement award.