Why Is Israeli Filmmaker Nadav Lapid Being Criticized By Israeli Envoy Over Kashmir Files Remark? Explainer.
Nadav Lapid, an Israeli director, was criticized harshly by Israel's ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, for labeling "The Kashmir Files" "propaganda" and "vulgar" at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Naor Gilon slammed Lapid for "abusing" his invitation to preside over the IFFI judging panel. Later, Gilon wrote an “open letter” on Twitter, apologizing to “Indian brothers and sisters” for the remark made on Kashmir Files by his fellow countryman.
An open letter to #NadavLapid following his criticism of #KashmirFiles. It’s not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I’ll give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED. Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/8YpSQGMXIR— Naor Gilon (@NaorGilon) November 29, 2022
What did Israeli Filmmaker Nadav Lapid say about the Kashmir Files?
On November 22, as part of the Indian Panorama Section, "The Kashmir Files" aired at IFFI.
At the festival's closing ceremony that took place on Monday (November 28), the IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid stated that "The Kashmir Files" had "disturbed and startled" the jurors.
He stated that the movie "felt to us like propaganda, vulgar, and improper for an artistic competition division of such a prominent film festival." His remarks have been disassociated from by the jury panel, who described them as his "personal opinions."
His statements, which have subsequently gained notoriety, have drawn harsh criticism from the netizens as well.
The Israeli envoy said that Nadav Lapid had abused both the trust placed in him by India and the invitation extended to him to preside over the IFFI Goa judging panel.
Following the remark, the director of the movie, Vivek Agnihotri posted a cryptic tweet, saying "truth can make people lie." Many believe the tweet as his indirect response to Lapid's remark.
This is not the first time filmmaker Nadav Lapid has said something controversial.
Lapid has criticized Israel's treatment of Palestinians loudly, claiming that "the collective soul of Israel is a diseased soul." He also signed an open letter, along with 250 other Israeli filmmakers, in opposition to the Shomron Film Fund, which gives subsidies to Israeli residents who produce films in the West Bank and to Jewish settlers who live there.
What is the Kashmir Files about?
The Kashmir Files was written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri. The focus of the movie is the 1990s exodus of Hindu Kashmiris, especially pundits from Kashmir under the Indian administration.
It portrays the exodus and the circumstances that preceded it as genocide. According to the movie, these facts were kept hidden by a quiet conspiracy.
The movie was released on March 11, 2022, and was a commercial success.
Israeli Consul General Kobbi Shoshani said, “when I saw the film, tears came from my eyes. We’re Jews who suffered from horrible things&I think we’ve to share other’s suffering.”
The Kashmir Files was included in the schedule for the 2022 edition of IFFI's Indian Panorama segment. The program also featured "Jai Bhim," "Ariyippu," and "RRR," among other notable movies.