As a modern society, we need to have a discussion…we need to create a free, open mind,” says Resul Pookutty, sound maverick and Oscar winner, who has recently been nominated for two internationally acclaimed awards for his work.
The irony? Both films that have earned him nominations at the American Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards are banned in India. While Leslee Udwin’s India’s Daughter documents the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, Raj Amit Kumar’s Unfreedom deals with homosexuality and violence.
“The Censor Board has misunderstood the film (Unfreedom). You don’t have a highly educated intellegentia sitting on the board to realise this. Something like the promos of Kya Kool Hain Hum are beaming in living rooms, but it’s believed that our audience is not prepared to watch an essay on cinema — that’s not an intelligent position,” Pookutty says.
“We have to keep an open mind towards artistic work. I don’t want to use that word — intolerance. But, as a society, we are increasingly becoming impatient. From being ‘pulsating India’ we are turning into a community of impatient people. If we want to express anything and be accepted in a public forum today, we have to begin by saying: ‘I love my country.’ That jingoism is something we should keep away from,” he adds.
Talking about the experience of designing sound for a documentary that deals with something as sensitive as the 2012 case, he explains: “For me, she is not a symbol of sympathy. I wanted her to come out as a hero, to share her story and the resilience that she had. That was my whole approach towards the film. I strongly feel a film like that should be shown and needs to be discussed.”