Nadav Lapid’s takedown of The Kashmir Files

Red faces all around when fact meets fiction


November 29, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Nadav Lapid’s takedown of The Kashmir Files

Nadav Lapid is an Israeli screenwriter and film director

The complete trashing of The Kashmir Files at IFFI Goa has certainly caught the filmmaker and its proponents as well as the organiser of the film festival, the Indian government, with complete surprise.

5/5 - (1 vote)

All hell broke loose as soon as Israeli filmmaker and the head of jury at the 53rd International Film Festival of India Nadav Lapid called The Kashmir Files a ‘propaganda’ and a ‘vulgar movie’ that was not fit to be shown in the competitive section of a prestigious film festival like IFFI.

In his speech, Lapid said he was “disturbed and shocked” to see the film being screened at the film festival. “All of us were disturbed and shocked by the movie The Kashmir Files. It felt to us like a propaganda and vulgar movie that was inappropriate for an artistic and competitive section of such a prestigious film festival,” he said.

“I feel comfortable to openly share this feeling with you since the spirit of the festival can truly accept critical discussion which is essential for art and life,” Lapid added.

Lapid made his remarks at the closing ceremony of the festival last night and in the presence of several ministers, including Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.

In many ways, for Thakur and many proponents of the film, not the least its director Vivek Agnihotri and veteran actor Anupam Kher, Lapid’s remarks came as unexpectedly as one of the many stealth military missions that Israel has mounted in various countries during its 75-year-history. After all, it was a very vocal criticism of a film that the government of India has spent considerable time and money in promoting throughout the current year.

Worse, still, it came at the leading film festival in India, organised by the government and it came from a noted film maker from a friendly country!

No wonder then that the remarks led to a storm in the Indian social media platforms and with comments and attacks not just from the who’s who of India but also the Israeli Embassy. Israeli Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon slammed Lapid for his remarks and said Lapid had abused the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at IFFI Goa, as well as, the trust bestowed on him.

‘‘An open letter to #NadavLapid following his criticism of #KashmirFiles. It’s not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I’ll give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED,’’ Ambassador Gilon tweeted.

Both filmmaker Agnihotri and Kher slammed Lapid and his comments and a police complaint has reportedly been filed against Lapid.

The Kashmir Files that was released earlier this year in theatres told the story about the Hindu exodus in 1990s and targetted killings of the Kashmiri Pandits. However, the film received mixed reviews and questions have been raised about certain facts that have been showcased in the movie.

Lapid is not the only foreign film jury to have criticised The Kashmir Files. In August this year Canadian director, Dylan Mohan Gray, had said that the Vivek Agnihotri film would be an embarrassment if sent to the Oscars. Gray’s remarks came soon after Bollywood filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s comment who said that SS Rajamouli’s RRR has a ‘‘99 per cent chance’’ of getting an Oscar nomination in the Best International Feature Film category if it is selected as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards. However, he added that he hoped that Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files is not picked as a nomination for the Oscars.

Following this, Dylan Mohan Gray had taken to his Twitter handle and wrote, “yeah, actually it’s (hatemongering, revisionist) garbage of no artistic merit and will be a further embarrassment to India if ‘selected’ by the ‘neutral’ board @anuragkashyap72 is just trying to preserve what’s left of the country’s good name #yourewelcome #KashmirFiles though #RRR is also vile & sadistic, so not much of a step up (sic).”



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *