After the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) recently banned the release of Unfreedom, a film based on a lesbian relationship, its director Raj Amit Kumar has decided to approach the court.
The film's release was stopped by the board on the premise that it will ignite ‘unnatural passions’. The board reportedly also had a problem with a parallel track where a liberal Muslim girl is kidnapped by terrorists.
Kumar has decided to file a petition against the CBFC. “I have appealed to the high court asking them to allow me to release the film. I also want to lodge a petition.”
In fact, the director claimed that the board primarily had a problem with the portrayal of “religious fundamentalism” in the film. “Everyone believes that the reason for banning the film is homosexuality, but that’s just a part of the problem. The religious fundamentalism, which I am dealing with in the film, bothers them even more,” Kumar said.
Interestingly, in the past, the board has cleared many films which feature homosexual relationships between two women with an A certificate, such as Fire and Girlfriend.
However, the chairman of the board, Pahlaj Nihalani, asserted that this was an unnecessary controversy. “The film was brought to the censor board back in November last year, when I had not even joined office. They (previous panel) had not cleared the film. So, the filmmaker approached the Examining Committee later, which refused a certification to the film. He then went to the Revising Committee, which passed the film with an A certificate, after suggesting a few cuts. However, the producer was still not satisfied, and he approached the tribunal (the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal) in Delhi. And the Tribunal also refused to certify the film. And now, the director is planning to move the court,” said Nihalani.
Watch: Unfreedom trailer
Kumar maintained that cutting those scenes is tantamount to curbing his creative freedom. “I don’t even want to talk about the kind of cuts they asked me to make in my film. It was not only cutting a few scenes, it was more about removing a particular thought and expression. They have no business telling a filmmaker what to put in his film. They cannot curb our creativity. Who are they to decide what goes in my film and what doesn’t,” said an agitated Kumar. “In fact, I feel that it is important that we go on the streets of India and arrange marches. This is not about a particular film, it is about all the films that are not allowed to be screened.”