Israeli filmmaker who criticised 'The Kashmir Files' says film justified govt's Kashmir policy

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid termed 'The Kashmir Files' as a "propaganda and vulgar film" at an event at the 53rd International Film Festival of India earlier this week

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid (Left) A poster of The Kashmir Files
Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid (Left) A poster of The Kashmir Files

NH Web Desk

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who termed The Kashmir Files as a "propaganda and vulgar film", opened up in an interview on why he shared his views on the platform of the 53rd International Film Festival of India earlier this week. He was the jury chairperson at the film festival.

In the interview, Lapid said that it was "not easy" and he was apprehensive about talking about the movie.

Many artists from the Hindi film industry, including the film director Vivek Agnihotri and actor Anupam Kher went on to criticise Nadav while Swara Bhasker and a few others have lauded his statement.

While replying to YNet, Lapid said, "I didn’t know what the dimensions would be, so I did it with some apprehension. Yes, I spent the day apprehensive," he said, adding that he was ‘happy to be on (his) way to the airport’.

“It’s crazy, what’s going on here," he quipped.

When he watched the film, he said, he was struck by how blatantly it adheres to the government line on Kashmir.

While Agnihotri claims that the film is based on the mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus in the 1990s and does not have a single fabricated scene or line of dialogue, Lapid said that ‘it basically justifies the Indian policy in Kashmir, and it has fascist features’.

He also said that he wouldn’t be surprised if a film like The Kashmir Files is made in Israel in the next couple of years.

He added, "In countries that are increasingly losing the ability to speak your mind or speak the truth, someone needs to speak up. When I saw this movie, I couldn’t help but imagine its Israeli equivalent, which doesn’t exist but could definitely exist. So, I felt I had to, because I come from a place that is itself not reformed, and is itself on the way to these .”

Soon after, #LapidNadav went viral on Twitter and the social media platform was flooded with mixed responses.

Naor Gilon, the Ambassador of Israel to India wrote a series of tweets regarding Lapid's statement.

In response to Gilon's tweets, Indian actress Swara Bhasker wrote: "Ummm.. Israeli Ambassador inadvertently revealing the condition of freedom of speech and expression in India."

Aditya Menon, an Indian journalist, wrote that Nadav Lapid "merely criticised a film".

"The Ambassador inadvertently ended up making an even bigger allegation -- that he and his team are facing abuse and threats in India merely because an Israeli director said something about the film," he said.

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