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‘You should be ashamed’: Israeli envoy reacts to IFFI jury chief’s ‘Kashmir Files’ remarks

New Delhi: Israel’s ambassador to India Naor Gilon came down heavily on Israeli filmmaker and jury chief at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Nadav Lapid for his remarks on Bollywood film ‘The Kashmir Files’. Nadav Lapid earlier   said that the  film depicting the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir is a ‘propaganda film’ and is vulgar.

‘All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to openly share these feelings here with you on this stage. In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life,’ said Nadav Lapid at the closing ceremony a IFFI.

Also Read: Israeli filmmaker and jury chief of IFFI, Nadav Lapid, calls ‘The Kashmir Files’ a vulgar movie

Naor Gilon criticised the Isralei filmmaker and accused that Lapid has abused the Indian invitation to chair the panel in the worst way and he should be ashamed of doing that.

‘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,’ tweeted Naor Gilon.

‘In Indian culture they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you. Our Indian friends brought @lioraz and @issacharoff from @FaudaOfficial in order to celebrate the love in #India towards #Fauda and #Israel. I suspect that this is maybe also one of the reasons they invited you as an Israeli and me as the ambassador of Israel,’ he added.

”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. You will go back to Israel thinking that you are bold and ‘made a statement’. We, the 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,’ said Israel’s ambassador in another tweet.

Earlier Anupam Kher, who played lead role in the film criticized Nadav Lapid . ‘If the holocaust was right then the exodus of Kashmiri pandits is also right. This seems pre-planned because immediately after it the tool-kit gang became active. It’s shameful for him to make a statement like this even though he comes from a community of Jews who suffered from the holocaust. So by making a statement like this, he has also pained those people who suffered this tragedy. I would just say may god give him wisdom so that he doesn’t use the tragedy of thousands of people to fulfill his aim on stage,’ said Anupam Kher.

Consulate General of Israel Kobbi Shoshani said also criticized the Israeli filmmaker for his comments.  ‘When I saw the film, tears came from my eyes. It was not an easy film to see.I think it was shown in Israel too. We’re Jews who suffered from horrible things&I think we’ve to share other’s suffering,’ said Kobbi Shoshani.

Meanwhile, Kashmiri Pandit filmmaker and Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association President Ashok Pandit demanded an investigation into his selection as chairperson of the international jury.

‘The Kashmir Files’, written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri was a part of the Indian Panorama Section at IFFI. The film was based on the Kashmiri Pandit exodus from the Valley in 1990 due to insurgency.


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