‘YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED’: Israeli Ambassador to India slams Nadav Lapid for ‘The Kashmir Files’ comments ‘

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After Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid described Vivek Agnihotri’s controversial film ‘The Kashmir Files’ as “a propaganda” and “vulgar movie” at the recently-concluded International Film Festival of India, Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon has responded, saying Lapid, who was chairing a panel of judges at the event, should be “ashamed” of the statement. In a series of tweets, Gilon said he is writing in English as he wants his “Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand”. Accusing Lapid of abusing Indian hospitality, he said he is not a film expert but “it’s insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price.”

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. Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/8YpSQGMXIR

— Naor Gilon (@NaorGilon) November 29, 2022

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“As a son of a holocaust survivor, I was extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler’s List, the Holocaust and worse. I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here,” added Gilon.

He went on to say that Lapid will go back to Israel thinking he has made a statement, but he and other representatives of Israel would stay here. “You should see our DM boxes following your “bravery” and what implications it may have on the team under my responsibility,” he said.

The Jury Chairman of the International Competition Section, Nadav Lapid, has criticized the inclusion of Kashmir Files in the International Film Festival.

He publicly criticized the film as sheer “propaganda” at the closing ceremony of the international competition category. pic.twitter.com/r1OuxhO2dQ

— Ahmed Khabeer احمد خبیر (@AhmedKhabeer_) November 28, 2022

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Lapid, known for films such as ‘ Synonyms’ (which got him a Golden Bear award at  69th Berlin International Film Festival in 2019) and ‘Ahed’s Knee’, was the jury chairman at IFFI. While sharing the jury report at the closing ceremony of the event, he said as per The Indian Express, “There were 15 films in the international competition — the front window of the festival. Fourteen out of them had the cinematic qualities…and evoked vivid discussions. We were, all of us, disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.”

‘The Kashmir Files’, co-written by Agnihotri and Saurabh M. Pandey, was based on the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the Kashmir valley starting from early 1990s post a Pakistan-backed insurgency against the Indian state. Starring Mithun Chakraborty, Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, and Pallavi Joshi, the film divided critics and audiences. While some called it a much-needed account of a topic often not part of the discourse surrounding the Kashmir issue, some others called it blatant propaganda against Kashmiri Muslims supported, if not backed, by the ruling party.

The film anyway became a humongous hit, grossing Rs 252.90 crore ($30 million approx).

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