Several social media users, including actor Anupam Kher and other verified Twitter handles, are claiming that Israeli film-maker Nadav Lapid has reversed his stance on ‘The Kashmir Files’, terming it a brilliant movie. Lapid, who served as the chairperson of International Film Festival of India (IIFA) jury, had called “The Kashmir Files” a “vulgar and propaganda” movie in his speech at the award ceremony during the closing night of the nine-day film festival in Goa on November 28.
“We were, all of us, disturbed and shocked by the 15th film The Kashmir Files. That felt to us like propaganda, a vulgar movie, inappropriate for the artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to share these feelings with you on stage since the spirit of a film festival can truly accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and for life,” said Lapid.
Lapid’s comments evoked widespread reactions across social media with the Israeli diplomatic community quick in rubbishing the statements, while being hailed by several others, who said that the film was supported by the right-wing, and showed Muslims and Kashmir in bad light.
The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.
Newschecker first ran a keyword search for the terms “Nadav Lapid Kashmir Files Brilliant”, which led us to numerous reports on the episode, however, none of these articles stated that the film-maker had called the Vivek Agnihotri film as brilliant.
The headline of this India Today report read, “I accept that many people feel it’s a brilliant film: Nadav Lapid on The Kashmir Files remark”, raising doubts on the viral quote.
Replying to a question on whether he would consider Schindler’s List to be a ‘propaganda’ film, Lapid told India Today in an exclusive interview, “No one can determine what is propaganda. One might think that Schindler’s List is a propaganda film. I completely respect and accept this fact, that many people loved this movie or feel it’s a brilliant movie. As well as I respect the fact that people think terrible things about my movies. What I have done it’s my duty to say what I see. It’s a very subjective way.”
“I have the right to say what I think and I am not anybody’s property that I will seek any validation,” he said, indicating that he stood by his earlier remarks.
We also noticed a disclaimer at the end of the article that read, “An earlier version of the story misquoted Nadav Lapid on his comments about accepting that many people feel that The Kashmir Files is a brilliant movie. The story has been updated with the correct quote and the error is regretted.”
This was reiterated in a Cinema Express report, dated November 30, where the film-maker’s India Today TV interview was quoted. “As much as the people, who love the movie, have the right to claim that it is a brilliant, unbelievable film, I have the right to claim it’s the opposite,” he said, adding, “What I did was my duty to the festival which invited me to express my opinion on the movies and to say the truth as I see it. Of course, it is subjective.”
Calling The Kashmir Files a “cinematic manipulation,” Nadav reportedly said, “I will say it, even if I have to repeat myself a thousand times, I was never, ever, speaking about the Kashmir tragedy. I am totally not taking back what I said but I am really sorry if people were hurt. I was talking about the movie that was based on the tragedy.”
Taking a cue from this, we searched for the exclusive interview with India Today, which led us to this Youtube video, dated November 30, 2022, titled “IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid’s Fiery Interview With Rahul Kanwal On The Kashmir Files Controversy.”
In this interview, you can see that Lapid sticks to his views on the movie, calling it a series of “cinematic manipulations” and that his comments were only about the film’s “cinematic text” and not about the tragedy of Kashmiris. At the 9:26 mark, Lapid says, “I totally respect and accept this fact, that many people loved this movie or feel it’s a brilliant movie. As well as I respect the fact that there are people who think terrible things about my movies … as much as the people who love the movie have the right to claim that it is a brilliant, unbelievable film, I have the right to claim it’s the opposite,” thus confirming that the viral claims had misquoted him.
Newschecker found that Israeli film-maker Nadav Lapid did not go back on his initial comments slamming ‘The Kashmir Files’ to calling it a brilliant film, but that he was misquoted by social media users.
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