Israel’s ambassador to India Naor Gilon has slammed his fellow countryman and filmmaker Nadav Lapid for dissing ‘The Kashmir Files’ as a ‘vulgur’ and ‘propaganda’ film.
While speaking at the closing ceremony of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Lapid, who has no love lost for his own country, said the jury was “disturbed and shocked” by the film and it “felt like propaganda, vulgar movie”, and deemed it “inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival”, reports Hindustan Times.
The Anupam Kher-starrer ‘The Kashmir Files’ depicts the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus who were forced to leave their homes following systemic killings of the people of the community by Pakistan-backed local terrorists in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The film was screened on 22 November as a part of the Indian Panorama Section at IFFI.
The IFFI is conducted jointly by the National Film Development Corporation of India under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the Goa government.
In an open letter to Lapid, Israeli ambassador to India Gilon said that he should be ashamed for abusing “in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at IFFI as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you”.
He also slammed the filmmaker for dissing the movie without “deeply studying” the historical events, which are an “open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price”.
He suggested that the filmmaker should “feel free to use the liberty to sound your criticism of what you dislike in Israel but no need to reflect your frustration on other countries”.
“I’m not sure that you have enough factual basis to make such comparisons. I know I don’t,” he said.
The 47-year-old Israeli filmmaker is known for his love-hate relationship with his homeland which played out in his competition entry, Ahed’s Knee, at Cannes Film Festival last year.
Lapid was also among a group of 250 Israeli filmmakers that signed an open letter to protest against the launch of the Shomron (Samaria/West Bank) Film Fund.
The Shomron Film Fund’s official mandate is to “distribute grants to Jewish settlers who reside in the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria”) and to productions by Israeli citizens filmed in the West Bank.”
While talking about his film ‘Synonymes’ in one of his interviews, Lapid had said that “the Israeli collective soul is a sick soul”.