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I stand by each and every word I said: Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid on 'Kashmir Files' row

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Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid has said that he was not against the violence in 'The Kashmir Files' but annoyed with the film as it doesn't have any "inner contradictions and complexities."

New Delhi, Dec 04: Days after issuing an apology over his loose comments on 'The Kashmir Files', Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid has now said that he stands by each and every word that he said about the Hindi flick on the IFFI stage.

"I said that my speech about the movie The Kashmir Files was manipulated as if I was ignoring or minimising the tragedy of Kashmir and that if someone, especially the victims or their relatives, were hurt, I am sorry. But I stand behind each and every word I said in my statement," he is quoted as saying in a latest interview.

I stand by each and every word I said: Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid on Kashmir Files row

He said that the movie is "totally flat" with no context and "endless cheap cinematic manipulations". "I have already explained it a thousand times. I hardly talked about my own films as much as I talk about this one. The film is totally flat; the bad play the bad ones, and the good play the good ones. The bad are ugly and repulsive, while the good are marvellous. It presents no context and endless cheap cinematic manipulations. I can go on, but I think this much is enough," he added.

Lapid also lashed out at the Israeli ambassador to India Naor Golin who said that he was "ashamed of" the filmmaker for making that controversial statement. The filmmaker said that maybe the diplomat should be "humble before giving statements about a domain in which he is ignorant."

"Unfortunately, despite his long experience, he does not understand what it means to simply state your belief. He was talking to me like a father whose naughty son had not done his homework. It was pathetic.

The fury of certain Indian people against my words was at least authentic. I can understand them. But...I wonder whether now, after the other jury members have declared what I said was our common statement, the French, the Spanish and the American ambassador will condemn their respective fellow citizens. I am sure they won't. Luckily, they are better diplomats, more honest, courageous and less populistic than this person," he added.

He pointed out that he was not against the violence in 'The Kashmir Files' but was annoyed as the film doesn't have any "inner contradictions and complexities."

The Controversy
Nadav Lapid, who headed 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.

'The Kashmir Files' is a film about the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus in the 1990s at the hands of the Pakistan sponsored Islamic radicals. The movie is directed by Vivek Agnihotri and it features Anupam Kher, Pallavi Ghosh, Mithun Chakraborty and Darshan Kumar.

Apology
As he was widely criticised over the comment, Lapid apologised and said, "I didn't want to insult anyone, and my aim was never to insult people or their relatives, who have suffered. I totally totally totally apologize if that's the way they interpreted."

Meanwhile, Sudipto Sen, one of the members of the jury maintained that the remarks made by Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid about "The Kashmir Files" were his personal opinion while three other co-jurors came out in support of the jury head.

American producer Jinko Gotoh, French film editor Pascale Chavance and French documentary filmmaker Javier Angulo Barturen - released a statement on Twitter endorsing Lapid's comments that caused a huge controversy earlier this week.

With inputs from agencies.

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