Despite heavy backlash, Israeli film maker Nadav doesn't budge on his 'The Kashmir Files' comments
The Israeli film maker continues to defend his comments. He has now said that Indian government has pushed 'The Kashmir Files' in an unusual way as the movie justifies India's policy in Kashmir.
New Delhi, Nov 30: Despite getting severe criticism from all quarters over 'The Kashmir Files', Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid has defended his remarks against the movie, saying "it's crazy, what's going on here." He said that the movie justifies Indian policy in Kashmir which has "fascist features".
Now, speaking to to Israeli news website, he said, "It's crazy, what's going on here. It's a government festival and it's the biggest in India. It's a film that the Indian government, even if it didn't actually make it, at least pushed it in an unusual way. It basically justifies the Indian policy in Kashmir, and it has fascist features."
Nadav Lapid called 'The Kashmir Files' as "vulgar" and "propaganda" film at the closing ceremony of IFFI (International Film Festival of India) which triggered massive outrage in India. In fact, Israeli Ambassador to India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, Naor Golin too slammed the comments and said that the Leftist filmmaker should be "ashamed of himself" for making those controversial comments.
"It seemed to us like a propagandist movie inappropriate for an artistic, competitive section of such a prestigious film festival," he added. Talking about the comments that claim that the movie showcased the dimensions hidden by intellectuals and the media, "It is always the same method - that there is the foreign enemy, and there are traitors from within," Nadav added in the interview.
Did Nadav anticipate the backlash?
The filmmaker said that he was shocked by "transparent combination between propaganda and fascism and vulgarity" and he could not "help but imagine an Israeli film like this in another year and a half or two." When asked whether he expected such criticism, the Israeli filmmaker said he was "It is not an easy position, you are a guest, I am the president of the jury here, you are treated very nicely. And then you come and attack the festival. There was apprehension, and there was discomfort,"
The filmmaker further claimed that he would be happy if the chairman of a jury makes critical comments about his country. "In countries that are increasingly losing the ability to speak your mind or speak the truth, someone needs to speak up. When I saw this movie, I couldn't help but imagine its Israeli equivalent, which doesn't exist but could definitely exist. So I felt I had to," he said.
What Did Lapid Say?
Nadav Lapid, who headed the the jury of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), described Hindi film 'The Kashmir Files' as "propaganda" and "vulgar" and he was "disturbed and shocked" to see the film being screened at the film festival.
"All of us were disturbed and shocked by the movie 'The Kashmir Files'. It felt to us like a propaganda and vulgar movie that was inappropriate for an artistic and competitive section of such a prestigious film festival," he said. "I feel comfortable to openly share this feeling with you since the spirit of the festival can truly accept critical discussion which is essential for art and life", Lapid said.
How the filmmaker reacted?
Bollywood director Vivek Agnihotri has said that he will quit filmmaking if what Israel filmmaker Nadav Lapid said about his 'The Kashmir Files' is proved to be true.
In a video shared on his Instagram account, Agnihotri said, "Yesterday at IFFI, a jury member called 'The Kashmir Files' a propaganda and a vulgar film. This is not a new thing for me, because these types of comments are being made by many terrorist organizations, urban Naxals, and the people who want to divide India. But what surprises me the most is, that this narrative of dividing Kashmir from India by some terrorists was supported on stage at an event organized by the Government of India."
"Who are these people? These are the same people who called this film propaganda since the day I started working on the film. This film was made after interviewing more than 700 people whose family members were cut into pieces and gang raped. Were all those people talking propaganda or vulgar? The land where once Hindus were in majority has no Hindus today, and many Hindus are killed every other day. Is it propaganda or vulgarity? Yaseen Malik accepted his terrorism and he is in jail today. Is this propaganda or vulgarity?" Vivek added.
Vivek further said, "I challenge all these urban Naxals and the legendary filmmaker who came from Israel, that if they can prove any single shot, event or dialogue is not completely true then I will quit filmmaking. Who are these people who stand up against India every time? These are the same people who never allowed Moplah's and Kashmir's truth to come out. These are the same people who were selling burning pyres for just some dollars, and now when I announced my next film 'The Vaccine War' they are standing against it also, but I am not afraid, do whatever you want to do but I will fight."