The controversial film The Kashmir Files, an official submission at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), was condemned by filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who called it “propaganda, disgusting movie, unacceptable for an aesthetic competition part of such a prominent film festival.”
The controversial Kashmir Files, which is riddled with anti-Muslim prejudice, has piqued the interest of critics and lawmakers, who have voiced their disgust and expressed their worries in the aftermath of the film’s narrative, which is heavy with right-wing extremist patriotism.
In the presence of key government officials at the event’s closing ceremony in Goa, Lapid stated that “all of them [jury members]” were “disturbed and startled” to see the film presented at the festival. The Directorate of Film Festivals, which is part of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, organises the yearly film festival.
“I’d like to thank the head of the festival and the director of the programming for the cinematic richness of the programme, for its diversity, for its complexity. It was intense. We saw seven films in the debutant competition, and 15 films in the international competition — the front window of the festival. 14 out of them had cinematic qualities, defaults and evoked vivid discussions,” said Lapid.
“All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable openly sharing these feelings here with you at this stage. In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life,” Lapid added in his remarks at the event.
The controversial movie, set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was released in March of this year. The plot is based on interviews done by Agnihotri, which serve as the foundation for this fictitious play. The interviews are with first-generation victims of the purported Kashmir Pandit Genocide of 1990.
It is crucial to highlight that the ethnic cleansing did result in the loss of life in the region; nevertheless, the figures pale in contrast to the 1947 Jammu massacre, which saw over 200,000 Muslims massacred in cold blood.