The Kashmir Files and the ‘vulgar’ propaganda controversy: Full story in 10 points

‘The Kashmir Files’, written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, is back in the news. The comments of an Israeli director and jury chairperson of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Nadav Lapid calling ‘The Kashmir Files’ “vulgar and propaganda” have sparked a furious debate. Lapid’s comments on the film came at the closing ceremony of the 53rd edition of IFFI on Monday in Goa. As controversy grew, more people joined the discourse against him. While some spoke up his defence, others have accused him of being insensitive towards the suffering of Kashmiri Pandits.

  • 1)     In his speech at the closing ceremony of IFFI 2022, Lapid said he was “disturbed and shocked” to see the film being screened at the film festival.
  • 2) “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. 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 said.
  • 3) After Lapid criticised the film, the country’s envoy to India Naor Gilon slammed him and apologized for the conduct of his countryman.
  • 4) “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.
  • 5) Israel’s Consul General Kobbi Shoshani described IFFI jury head Nadav Lapid’s controversial remarks as a “big mistake”, and added that the comments made by the Israeli filmmaker don’t reflect the country’s position on the movie.
  • 6) The IFFI Jury Board today issued a statement, saying that whatever Nadav Lapid said about the movie is his “personal opinion” and “nothing to do” with the board.
  • 7) Indian film director Sudipto Sen, who was part of the international film jury, distanced himself and other members from Lapid’s statement.
  • 8) “Whatever has been said by IFFI 2022 Jury Chairman Mr Nadav Lapid about the film Kashmir Files, from the stage of closing ceremony of 53rd IFFI was completely his personal opinion,” Sen wrote in a note shared on Twitter.
  • 9) ‘The Kashmir Files’ is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley at the height of militancy in the 90s. 
  • 10) The film performed exceptionally well at the box office by minting over ₹330 crore.



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