Row over Vivek Agnihotri’s 'The Kashmir Files'; IFFI jury head calls film 'VULGAR', 'PROPAGANDA', faces backlash

'The Kashmir Files' controversy: Actors Anupam Kher and Darshan Kumaar, who played key roles in `The Kashmir Files`, have reacted sharply to Lapid`s comments and condemned him for calling the film 'vulgar', and 'propaganda'.

Row over Vivek Agnihotri’s 'The Kashmir Files'; IFFI jury head calls film 'VULGAR', 'PROPAGANDA', faces backlash

Panaji: Director Vivek Agnihotri’s highly-acclaimed film ‘The Kashmir Files’ is now at the center of a fresh controversy after Nadav Lapid, the IFFI`s jury head, termed the movie as ‘vulgar’ and ‘inappropriate’ during the concluding ceremony of the festival. Defending his statement, Lapid argued that the spirit of the festival can surely accept a critical discussion as well, which is essential for art and life.

Lapid had sparked a bitter controversy by claiming that he was "shocked" to see the film in the competition section of such a prestigious film festival. A video from the festival also went viral in which Lapid can be seen making harsh comments on the film. 

Sharing the experience of the IFFI jury, Lapid said that 14 out of them (international films) had a cinematic quality. "All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film `The Kashmir Files`" "I feel totally comfortable openly sharing these feelings here with you on this stage. Since, the spirit of the festival can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life," he said.

Interestingly, Anupam Kher, the lead actor in this movie, while speaking about the 'The Kashmir files' on November 23` had said that it helped people all over the world to be aware of the tragedy that happened to the Kashmiri Pandits community in the 1990s.

"It is a film based on true incidents. Film Director Vivek Agnihotri interviewed around 500 people from all around the world for the movie. On the night of January 19, 1990, five lakh Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their homes and memories in the Kashmir Valley following rising violence. As a Kashmiri Hindu, I lived with the tragedy. But nobody was recognising the tragedy. The world was trying to hide this tragedy. The film started a healing process by documenting the tragedy," the acclaimed Bollywood actor added.

Huge backlash over IFFI chief's remarks

The IFFI chief is now facing a huge backlash with several noted film personalities and even the Israeli diplomats condemning him for his extremely critical remarks. Actor 'arshan Kumaar, who played one of the key roles in 'The Kashmir Files`, too, reacted to Lapid`s comments. Speaking to ANI, Darshan said, "Everyone has their own individual opinions on anything they see and perceive... But one can`t deny the fact that 'The Kashmir Files' is a film which has depicted the actual plight of the Kashmiri Pandit community... who are still fighting for justice against the brutal acts of terrorism... so this film is not on vulgarity but on reality."

Actor Anupam Kher also took a swipe at IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid for making objectionable references to the film at the festival`s closing ceremony on Monday. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also slammed Lapid. 

Israel`s Consul General to Midwest Kobbi Shoshani expressed his contrasting views on the film. He said that he had seen the film and had a different opinion of it. He took to Twitter and wrote, "I saw the Kashmir file and met the cast. I have a different opinion than Nadav Lapid. After his speech, I told Nadav my opinion. @vivekagnihotri".

Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Vice President Abhinav Prakash also condemned Israeli Filmmaker Nadav Lapid`s remarks on the film `The Kashmir Files' and reacted strongly to it. Prakash took to Twitter to call Nadav a "Hindu-hating bigot" and even said that he is "not less than a Nazi enabler."He wrote, "Nadav Lapid is a Hindu-hating bigot who whitewashes ethnic cleansing. Not less than a Nazi enabler..."

(With Additional Agency Inputs)

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