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West Bengal Filmmakers Not In Favour Of Bans, Suggest Counter-Narrative Via Art

Bengal filmmakers feel West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to ban “The Kerala Story” will not serve the purpose of restricting controversial narratives. A day after Didi declared Sudipto Sen’s movie “distorted”, eminent filmmakers close to Didi said that the decision has jeopardised her pro-culture and art image. National Award-winning filmmaker Gautam Ghose said that during the previous Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA, the erstwhile censor board comprising stalwarts like Shyam Bengal, Kamal Haasan suggested keeping an option where the state authorities could take legal action against the makers of any film hurting religious sentiments leading to law and order problems. Unfortunately, the suggestions never saw the light of the day, lamented Ghosh. Another filmmaker Aniket Chattopadhyay observed that the decision of banning a movie in the digital era is basically futile since a government cannot hold back the release as it has been cleared by the censor board. So what is the way out – “Make a counter-narrative”, suggested Chattopadhyay. Leftist filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay compared banning a film to burning books. According to him, there have been occasions of differences with the erstwhile Left Front government over his movie like “Herbert” but there are no instances of banning movies in the state.