Motion pictures and politics went hand in hand, as they often do, on the opening day of the 44th International Film Festival of India on Wednesday.
One, American icon Susan Sarandon, famous for both her acting and activism, joined Iranian film-maker Majid Majidi on the same platform to endorse free mixing of cultures. “Films certainly have the ability to broaden horizons,” Sarandon, the guest of honour, said.
Two, in a departure, I&B minister Manish Tewari extended his official press conference to launch a forceful attack on BJP and Narendra Modi. Three, Tewari praised Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar for the arrangements, but urged him — obliquely — not to worry about the Centre’s commitment to IFFI with a double entendre: “We held out our hand of friendship in 2004, the same hand has stayed through 2013 and will be there in future”. The hand is the election symbol of the Congress.
Later, the minister opened the floor to questions on politics. Slamming Modi, he said, “When he uses ‘shehzada’ (to refer to Rahul Gandhi), it is considered rasila (juicy). But if we call him ishakzade (loverboy), toh hamara character dhila (then our character is called into question)?”
Four, the festival’s last film is the globally awaited political biopic, Justin Chadwick’s ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’.