Israeli Filmmaker Backs his Criticism of ‘The Kashmir Files’

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid is standing firm with his remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’ film that was showcased at the International Film Festival of India in Goa. Lapid is the head of the international jury at the festival and called the film “propaganda and vulgar.”

Vivek Agnihotri-directed ‘The Kashmir Files’ was screened at the International Film Festival of India in Goa in the presence of an international jury. The jury was headed by Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid who spoke at the festival’s closing ceremony and said the jury was “disturbed and shocked” at the screening of ‘The Kashmir Files’. He added, “It seemed to us like a propagandist movie inappropriate for an artistic, competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.”

Lapid went on to state that the movie showed a “transparent combination between propaganda and fascism and vulgarity.”

At the time, Lapid’s remarks were met with criticism and people said he was insensitive toward the suffering of Kashmiri Pandits. People questioned how someone who is part of a community that faced the Holocaust could make such remarks.

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Speaking with a news website over the phone, Lapid backed his stance and said, “It’s crazy, what’s going on here. It’s a government festival and it’s the biggest in India. It’s a film that the Indian government, even if it didn’t actually make it, at least pushed it in an unusual way. It basically justifies the Indian policy in Kashmir, and it has fascist features.”

The award-winning filmmaker’s remarks did find a few agreeable minds who posted on social media that Lapid “called out propaganda” in the movie. On the other hand, Israel’s diplomats in India also criticized his remarks and said he should be ashamed. They have asked the filmmaker to issue an apology.

Lapid is happy that he is moving on from this but said that it was a difficult position to take. “It is not an easy position, you are a guest, I am the president of the jury here, you are treated very nicely. And then you come and attack the festival. There was apprehension, and there was discomfort.” He went on to state that someone needs to speak up in countries “that are increasingly losing the ability to speak your mind or speak the truth.”

Vineet Washington

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