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Goa Festival Controversy over "The Kashmir Files"

By  Alex Deleon

 

Leading Israeli filmmaker, Nadav Lapid (47) has touched off a gigantic controversy in India with critical remarks over the Bollywood entry,  "The Kashmir Files" at the  53rd International Film Festival of  India (IFFI), which ended on November 28 in the resort city

 of Goa.

Lapidus presided  over the jury and made his remarks at the closing ceremony describing the already contentious film as  "vulgar propaganda"  inappropriate for a festival dedicated to the art of cinema.

  The film itself, which deals with Islamic persecution of Hindus in Kashmir back in the nineties,  was released in March and became an immediate blockbuster sensation while being heavily  criticized by Pakistan as blatant anti-islamic  propaganda.   Although tagged as a Bollywood film there are none of the usual songs and dances and the film was strongly promoted by the extreme Hinduist Bharatiya Janata Party under Narenda Modi, the current Indian Prime Minister, in power since 2014.

Prominent Bollywood character actor, Anupham Kher --  who is a central figure of the film and himself of Kashmiri background, has spoken out in defense of the film without attacking Lapidus specifically.  

All this as political ties between Israel and India have been growing steadily in recent years...  Such rapproachment  being evidenced by the invitation of an Israeli director to preside over India's most presigious film festival.

Lapid, whose accolades include a Golden Bear at Berlin in 2019 for his film "Synonyms" stands by his opinion  in spite of a storm of protest which has embarassed  both sides.  His position is supported by certain members of the Indian opposition  while being condemned by the Israeli ambassador to India, as  "Insensitive".

 

   File:MJK 39434 Nadav Lapid with the Golden Bear for Synonyms (crop).jpg

Nadav Lapid with the golden bear for the film "Synonyms" at the Berlinale 2019

Martin Kraft: author of the original; derivative work: LeonNefo

  

 

    Nadav Lapid's "Synonyms", an anarchic story about an Israeli who tries to suppress his origins after moving to Paris, won the Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear in 2019.6

 

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