“I feel very sad that people everywhere are seeing the film made on my life but not the people in Manipur. It is risky to release it here so I think it is better not to do it. But me and the government tried their best to get it released,” Mary told PTI from Imphal.
Ever since September, 2000, Hindi films are banned in Manipur by separatist militant group Revolutionary Peoples Front which claims that Bollywood goes against Manipuri values.
Mary said although her own family has seen the film at its Mumbai premiere but her friends, relatives, boxing students and neighbours are missing the biopic.
“They all really want to see it but there is no option before us,” lamented the only woman boxer to have won a medal in all the six world championships.
She was the only Indian boxer to have qualified for the 2012 world Olympics and won a bronze medal. Manipuri filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar said it is sad for any filmmaker to find any obstacle in the release of his film.
“Besides the insurgency issue I think theatres here are not technically equipped to show a mainstream Bollywood film because they only have a digital projection system to show movies from DVDs,” he said.
There are around six theatres in Imphal which screen only locally made Manipuri films.
Directed by debutant Omung Kumar and co-produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ‘Mary Kom’ was released in over 1800 theatres across India on Friday.
The film documents the boxer’s journey from a small north-eastern state to winning an Olympic medal despite all odds.