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What is the fuss all about?

After Da Vinci, Christian organisations are now targeting Sacred Evil.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 18:53 IST
Diganta Guha/ HT City
Diganta Guha/ HT City

Director duo Abhigyan Jha and Abiyaan Rajhans are ready with their debut film Sacred Evil — A True Story based on Ipsita Roy Chakraverti’s book of the same name.

Now, the Catholic Secular Forum in Mumbai has asked for a ban on the film on the grounds that in the publicity posters the name of the film is mentioned just below the crucifix. They are also objecting to the punchline of the film- ‘Where there is light, there is shadow’. HT City caught up with the director.

On the call for the ban: They have no argument. How can anyone ask for a ban? You can protest against the film, you can boycott it, but you can’t ask for a ban. I am ready to contest these people. I am against all kinds of censorship because that means your freedom of expression is curbed.

On delaying the release: That has got nothing to do with the call for the ban. It was slated to release on May 19, but we didn’t want it to clash with the release of The Da Vinci Code (which was later postponed). The film will release to June 2.

Catholic Secular Forum in Mumbai has asked for a ban on Sacred Evil - A True Story.

It’s not about witchcraft: The film is about healing techniques. Witchcraft is not black magic. We are taking a positive look at the art. Witches were not branded the right way by society.

It’s not Ipsita’s life story: The film is not Ipsita’s biography. It is about her journey into a person’s life. Ipsita was involved with the film right from the word go. She even gave her equipment and jewellery. She is also creative director of the film.

Looking West: The story has a very cosmopolitan feel so we are looking at an audience also in the West. The book was published by HarperCollins. We are looking at Europe as the tradition of witchcraft exists there. People in Eastern Europe see these kinds of films and like the genre.

It’s a commercial film:Sacred Evil is not an art film. It is a commercial film with four songs. One of them being O majhi re from Bimal Roy’s film Bandini, which we have redone. Kailash Kher and his band Kailasha have done it.

Kolkata at its best: There was a lot of research done. We have captured Kolkata on screen (the film is based here in the ’80s). It was difficult since some of the places have changed. We shot in Maxim Hotel. We also shot portions of the film in North Kolkata, Aakra and Chandannagar.

Sarika as the protagonist: Sarika’s name came up and she was the first one to whom we narrated the script. I would like to counter the view that Rekha was in the reckoning. I had not thought about her.

On his belief in witchcraft: Well, if you are talking about spiritual power, then yes. I worship Maa Kali at home.

First Published: May 23, 2006 23:00 IST