If You Try to Silence a Film, Then Be Prepared to Face the Backlash, Says Lipstick Under My Burkha Director http://blog.konkanitube.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1488678132_if-you-try-to-silence-a-film-then-be-prepared-to-face-the-backlash-says-lipstick-under-my-burkha-director.jpg

Her film may not have got a clearance yet by the Censor Board, but Alankrita Shrivastava, director of the much talked about film Lipstick Under My Burkha is firm that she will fight till the film gets a commercial release.

Terming it ‘lady oriented’ and a film that has ‘sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society,” the Censor Board refused to certify the Prakash Jha production recently. An uproar ensued on social media, that had celebrities like Farhan Akhtar, Dia Mirza, Anurag Kashyap batting for the film. “There has been clamour for the film. The reaction the film has received post CBFC’s decision is incredible,” said Alankrita during an exclusive chat with News18.com.

The director said the decision came as a shock to her. “They did not specify what exactly was objectionable about my film. Just sent that letter. Films like Parched, Margarita With A Straw, Qissa got a clearance from the board in the recent past. So I had expected that it would be smooth for our film as well. This came as a shock, to be honest.”

Alankrita feels that refusing to certify the film just highlights how the Censor board wants to curb the right to express. “The very fact that they want to muzzle the film just shows that they want to curb women’s voice. Women make half of this planet. This is a serious issue. It’s a violation of a woman’s right to express,” said the director and added, “What are they trying to project? That the audience should not engage in an alternate narrative, especially that of a woman’s point of view? Should all films be only from a man’s perspective?”

The director is happy that the decision has faced severe criticism. “If you try to silence a film, then be prepared to face the backlash.”

Alankrita made her debut as a director in 2010 for a film called Turning 30. She recalls that the board had passed the film, but had issues with the promo. “Back then, we faced problem in getting a certification for the trailer. They wanted us to mute the words pre-marital sex from the trailers.” But they were okay with it being part of the film though, Alankrita added.

alankritaalankritaAlankrita Shrivastava. Photo via Facebook

Many are equating her film’s problem with censor board to Gurmehar Kaur being trolled for speaking her mind. Does she feel that women’s voice is particularly being curbed now? “It has always been suppressed in our country. But incidents off late have made people question their freedom of expression. These incidents have atleast started a dialogue, a discussion which is very important in a democracy.”

“Whatever rights that people are guaranteed are on paper. We need to implement them in life. It is upon us to make it a reality. People need to claim their rights,” said Alankrita determinedly.

Alankrita feels there is an urgent need to change the way our films are cleared. “There should only be certification. Why should any film be censored? There is a need to get rid of censorship. It’s funny that the government lets 18 year olds vote but they are not allowed to choose what they want to watch. This is just ridiculous.”

Alankrita’s film stars Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Shashank Arora and others in the lead. It is a story of four women living in a small town and their aspirations and desires. Having won awards at MAMI and Glasgow Film Festival, the young director is certain that the film will get released eventually. “We are going to approach FCAT soon and I know that it’s going to be a long battle but I am hundred percent sure that the film will get a commercial release. “

Alankrita stated she is overwhelmed at the support that the film has garnered. “Not just the film industry, but people from all quarters have extended their support. I feel the time is right for this kind of film. And I am certain that it will release soon.” says Alankrita affirmatively.

First Published: March 3, 2017, 8:36 AM IST


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