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'My remarks were interpreted differently': Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid on 'The Kashmir Files' row

Lapid also dismissed claims made by IFFI international jury member Sudipto Sen, who had said the comments on Agnihotri's directorial were the Israeli director's "personal opinion".

My remarks were interpreted differently Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid on The Kashmir Files row AJR
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First Published Dec 1, 2022, 5:30 PM IST

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid has said his aim was not to insult the Kashmiri Pandit community or those who had suffered as he was offering a "total apology" if his remarks on "The Kashmir Files" had been misinterpreted.

Lapid, who was the international jury at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), stirred massive controversy by terming the Vivek Agnihotri film "vulgar" and a "propaganda". He also reiterated that he only criticised the film for its "series of cinematic manipulations".

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"I didn't want to insult anyone. My aim was never to insult the people or their relatives, who have suffered. I totally apologise if that's the way they interpreted it," Lapid, who has left the country since his remarks at the closing ceremony of the 53rd edition of the festival in Goa this week.

"But at the same time, whatever I said and I said clearly that for me and my fellow jury members, it was and it is a vulgar propaganda movie that didn't have a place and was inappropriate for such a prestigious competitive section. I can repeat it again and again," he added.

Written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, The Kashmir Files centres on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits during militancy in the early 1990s.

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On November 22, the film was screened at the festival under the Indian Panorama section. The acclaimed director, known for his anti-establishment stance, said his remarks were neither a statement on the political situation in Kashmir nor a denial of the tragedy.

"I have enormous respect for the tragedy, victims, survivors and for whoever suffers there. It (my remarks) was not at all about this. I'll repeat these words 10,000 times if I have to say that I was not talking about the political issue, historical equation, or disrespecting the tragedy that happened in Kashmir," he said.

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Lapid also dismissed claims made by IFFI international jury member Sudipto Sen, who had said the comments on Agnihotri's directorial were the Israeli director's "personal opinion".

(With inputs from PTI)

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