Anupam Kher As Film Fest Jury Head Slams ‘The Kashmir Files’

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Anupam Kher slammed Nadav Lapid for his remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files.’

New Delhi:

The 53rd International Film Festival of India or IFFI Jury head’s remarks on the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’ have triggered a stir.

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who headed the IFFI jury, called the Vivek Agnihotri’s directorial a “propaganda” and a “vulgar movie” in Goa last evening.

“We were, all of us, disturbed and shocked by the 15th film: The Kashmir Files. That felt to us like propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to share openly these feelings here with you on stage. Since the spirit of having a festival is to accept also a critical discussion which is essential for art and for life,” Mr Lapid said during his address at the closing ceremony of the film festival.

Actor Anupam Kher, who played a protagonist in the movie, called the criticism of ‘The Kashmir Files’ at the film festival “pre-planned” and accused Mr Lapid of being insensitive towards the suffering of Kashmiri Pandits. “This seems pre-planned as immediately after his remarks the toolkit gang became active,” Mr Kher said.

He said it’s shameful for a person from (Jews) community that suffered the horrors of holocaust to make such offensive remarks on a movie based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. “May God give him wisdom. If the holocaust is right, then the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits is also right,” the actor said.

Mr Kher last night shared images from “The Kashmir Files” and the movie “Schindler’s List” on Twitter. “Schindler List” is a movie based on the holocaust.

Without mentioning Nadav Lapid’s name, Mr Kher wrote, “No matter how big the lie is, it’s always small in comparison to the truth.”

Israel ambassador to India Naor Gilon also slammed Nadav Lapid for his remarks on “The Kashmir Files”.

In an open letter to Mr Lapid, Mr Gilon wrote, ” In Indian culture they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you.”

“The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage you have inflicted. As a human being I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship,” he wrote.

The Kashmir Files’ was screened at IFFI on November 22 as a part of the Indian Panorama Section. The movie is based on the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s.

The jury board of the 53rd International Film Festival in Goa has distanced itself from its head’s remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie, calling them “completely his personal opinion”.

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