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 Vivek Agnihotri’s directorial a “propaganda” and a “vulgar movie” in Goa last evening.
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.
Mr Kher, addressing the media with Israel’s consul general Kobbi Shoshani – who also condemned Mr Lapid’s remarks, said, “If you are a jury member you cannot use words like ‘vulgar or propaganda’. I think it is a vulgar remark by that person, who himself is vulgar and opportunist.”
“To use the platform of IFFI for your own agenda is not only unfortunate, it’s disgusting,” Mr Kher said.
The actor blamed what he called the “toolkit gang” for the whole controversy.
“A reliable source informed me that he was missing from his room throughout the night. This was not the statement he was to give at the closing ceremony of the film festival. What he said was entirely different. This is pre-planned as immediately after his remarks the toolkit gang became active on social media,” he said.
He said it’s shameful for a person from a community (Jews) that suffered the horrors of holocaust to make such offensive remarks on a movie based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.
“The one who does not understand the pain of people of holocaust victims in his country, can’t understand the pain of Kashmiri Pandits,” Mr Kher said.
I as a Kashmiri Pandit reject his remarks, he said.
The actor said Kobbi Shoshani called him up to apologise for Nadav Lapid’s remarks and then came to meet him.
“That was Nadav Lapid’s personal opinion, it has nothing to do with State of Israel. We don’t accept it,” Mr Shoshani told media.
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.