No tickets for the aam janta at the 38th International Film Festival in Goa. As I read the news report with shock, a name caught my eye. The festival is being organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals under the leadership of a Neelam Kapur. Presumably being of Kapur status, the first family of Bollywood, there's no doubt that she is a well-wisher of the cine tribe.
Armed with this knowledge, I had to cast away all the obvious issues that I'd initially wanted to raise — moral policing, freedom of expression, creation of an elite film-goers club, etc. Instead I decided to reason out this act of stately parenting.
We all know that leadership is about having a vision — one that the myopic public cannot possibly see with clarity.
Obviously, the actual cause for the ban is not the sexually-graphic content that might come to the international festival, but the final magic potion that might be created. We all know what can happen when a masala film and Goa's psychedelic beaches, feisty food and feni come together to find a three-dimensional existence. You and I will agree that this is a metaphorical black ticket that can lead to moral corruption.
Reinterpreting the past histories of censorship in India brings us to the second reason. We know that the international film festival is infamous for not being famous. We make no news. And as soon as 'they' tell us we cannot watch the films, like rebellious kids, we will scramble for the right to watch them and thereby increase its fading popularity. This article is proof enough. I would have never bothered to write on the film festival but for the act of it being censored. So our Iffi-ed presence in Goa will potentially aid the attractiveness of the festival.
The third reason stems from the execution of this decision and how it tests the love of a cine fan. This decision will throw a lot of us in a flurry and a chain of events will follow. Clandestine copies of the films will be made. And a tribe of cine-lovers will find a legitimate excuse to become pirates.