After Israel’s envoy to India issued an open letter condemning Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s comments on the Hindi film The Kashmir Files, country’s Consul General Mumbai Kobbi Shoshani also distanced himself from the remarks made against the movie at the closing ceremony of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, the jury head of the 53rd IFFI, on Monday described ‘The Kashmir Files’ as “propaganda” and “vulgar”. The film, that is based on Kashmiri Hindu genocide was released in theatres on March 11, was part of the Indian Panorama Section at IFFI and was screened on November 22.
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.
“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,” Lapid said.
Speaking exclusively to News18 after the outrage over Lapid’s remarks, Israel’s Consul General Mumbai Kobbi Shoshani said he saw The Kashmir Files a year ago and that “it touched his heart”, adding that Lapid does not represent Israel with his opinion on the film.
“It was a very emotional and touching film. I didn’t know even one thing about Kashmir before that,” Shoshani said, adding that it its important to know about the issue addressed the movie.
‘Concerning Nadav Lapid, we don’t accept it. I personally don’t accept it. Ambassador, who was there with me in Goa last night, doesn’t accept it. It’s his own private opinion. He can say that it’s the opinion of the Jury which is alright. But it’s nothing to do with Israel,” Shoshani told News18.
Shoshani went ahead and said that he had told Lapid that he made a “big mistake”.
“I told him after the speech that he made a big mistake, that it wasn’t appropriate. Ambassador and I rolled out comment and tweets in a way that makes very clear what we think about using words like propaganda, we don’t accept it, Shoshani said.
He is not representing the State of Israel, Kobbi Shoshani asserted.
After actors of the film Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar reacted to Nadav Lapid’s ‘propaganda’ comment, Israeli ambassador to India Naor Gilon had issued an open letter in which he told Nadav Lapid that he “SHOULD BE ASHAMED”.
Gilon, son of a Holocaust survivor, slammed the Israeli filmmaker, saying he was “extremely hurt to see reactions in India” to Lapid “that are doubting Schindler’s List, the Holocaust and worse”.
Taking to Twitter, Naor Gilon wrote: 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”.
Gilon then, in a six-pointer open letter, slammed the Israeli filmmaker.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also reacted to the comments by Nadav Lapid and said that just like people denied the Holocaust and called Schindler’s List a propaganda, some people are doing the same to Kashmir Files.
BJP’s Amit Malviya wrote on Twitter, “Israel’s Ambassador responds to compatriot filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s criticism of Kashmir Files. For the longest time, people even denied the Holocaust and called Schindler’s List a propaganda, just like some are doing to Kashmir Files”.
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