6 December 2023
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New Delhi: IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid’s comments on ‘The Kashmir Files’ have not gone well and have been drawing flak from the masses. Now, Israel’s Consul General to Midwest Kobbi Shoshani has said that he watched the Vivek Agnihotri directorial and holds a “different opinion” than Lapid.

Replying to a post on Twitter, Shoshani said: “I saw ‘The Kashmir Files’ and met the cast. I have a different opinion than Nadav Lapid. After his speech, I told Nadav my opinion.”

“When I saw the film, tears came from my eyes. It was not an easy film to see. I think it was shown in Israel too. We’re Jews who suffered from horrible things and I think we’ve to share other’s suffering,” Shoshani said.

The Kashmir Files was also released in Israel on April 28 “on huge demand”. In a tweet, Agnihotri said that Shoshani visited the studio in April to inaugurate the poster of the film.

Controversy over ‘The Kashmir Files’ at IFFI

At the closing ceremony of the IFFI on Monday, Lapid called ‘The Kashmir Files’ “propaganda, vulgar”.

A video from the festival went viral in which Lapid is heard making controversial remarks about the film.

“I would 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,” Lapid said in his address.

“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, we can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life,” he further said.

Soon after the speech went viral, netizens, leaders, celebrities from the film industry and diplomats have slammed Lapid.

‘The Kashmir Files’ was screened at IFFI on November 22 as a part of the Indian Panorama Section.

Released in March this tear, ‘The Kashmir Files’ is a story of the Hindu exodus in the 1990s and targeted killings of the Kashmiri Pandits.

The Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Mithun Chakraborty, starrer became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2022 and Anupam Kher received acclaim for his performance.

With inputs from agencies

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Abdul Gh Lone