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"Unfortunate Mamata Banerjee without watching the film has banned it": 'Kerala Story' director Sudipto Sen
Mumbai: A day after the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal banned the film 'The Kerala Story', filmmaker Sudipto Sen said the decision was "politically motivated" and urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to watch the film and then take any decision.
Sudipto Sen told ANI that it is "very unfortunate that Mamata Banerjee without watching the film has banned it". "Not a single untoward incident has happened in the state because of the film. The decision to ban the film is politically motivated. I request her to watch the film and then take any decision," Sudipto Sen said.
He said the film was doing very well in West Bengal for last four days and "it was houseful there".
"After the ban decision by Mamata Didi the screening in the movie hall was stopped by some guys mid-way. I am not a politician, I am a filmmaker. I can only make a film, you want to see it or not that you guys will decide. There was no problem when the film was released in Kolkata for four days, suddenly Didi felt that there could be law and order issues," he said.
"Mahua Moitra, Mamata Banerjee, they are the champion of free speech, human rights, when the Padmaavat movie was banned, Mamata Banerjee was the first political leader who came in support of the movie. But don't know what is the problem with my film that she thought that there is a law and order problem," he added.
Mamata Banerjee had said that 'The Kerala Story' is being banned in the state to "avoid any incident of hatred and violence, and maintain peace in the state".
"I requested her to watch the film first and not to decide on people's opinions. You will like the film, you will be proud that the Bengali director made this responsible film," Sen said.
He also said that till the film was not released, "there was a lot of controversy, debate was going on".
"After watching the film, everyone started liking the film so much that all the debate ended automatically. There was one problem that too was not a major problem in Tamil Nadu. There was a guy who use to threaten the movie hall owners. Every time, if there is any issue in Tamil Nadu that particular gentleman use to stand by and created problems. After all this, the Tamil Nadu high court allowed us and said there is no logic to ban the film if the censor board has already given the clearance," Sen said.
West Bengal became the first state to ban the film which narrates the ordeal of three women who are trafficked to ISIS camps after being converted to Islam through marriage.
The movie has been made tax-free in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and now Uttar Pradesh has decided to make it tax-free.
Mamata Banerjee gave directions to officials to remove the movie from all theatres where it is being screened.
Vipul Amrutlal Shah, the producer of the film, said they will pursue legal options against the decision.
"If state government won't listen to us, we will explore legal avenues. However, whatever course we take will be based on legal advice," Shah told ANI on Monday.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had termed the movie as "RSS propaganda".
'The Kerala Story' stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani and Sonia Balani in lead roles.
A massive controversy erupted around the film after its trailer claimed that 32,000 women from Kerala had gone missing and joined the terrorist group ISIS. However, in the face of protests, the contentious figure in the trailer was later withdrawn. (ANI)