Nadav Lapid: Happy to be on my way to airport now
The Israeli director said he spent the whole day “apprehensive” before making the remarks against The Kashmir Files
Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, whose comments against The Kashmir Files has stirred up a hornet’s nest said in an interview that he was “apprehensive” before making the remarks and it was “not easy.”
He had called the Vivek Agnihotri directorial a “vulgar, propaganda film”, unfit to be a part of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
After the remarks, the film’s cast, including Pallavi Joshi, Darshan Kumaar and Anupam Kher slammed Nadav. He was also criticised by the Israel’s Ambassador to India.
In an interview with Israeli outlet Ynet, Nadav said he was struck by how blatantly the film adheres to the government line on Kashmir. Asked what went through his mind before he made his political statement, and if he knew that his words would cause a storm, he said, “I knew that this was an event that is terribly connected to the country, and everyone stands there and praises the government. It is not an easy position, because you are a guest, I am the president of the jury here, you are treated very nicely. And then you come and attack the festival. There was apprehension, and there was discomfort . I didn’t know what the dimensions would be, so I did it with some apprehension. Yes, I spent the day apprehensive. Let’s put it this way: I’m happy to be on my way to the airport now.”
Nadav also said that it won’t come as a surprise if a film like The Kashmir Files is made in Israel in the next couple of years.
Nadav said that people came up to him to thank him for what he said in the speech. “It was a hall with thousands of people, and everyone was ecstatic to see the local stars and cheer for the government. In countries that are increasingly losing the ability to speak your mind or speak the truth, someone needs to speak up. When I saw this movie, I couldn’t help but imagine its Israeli equivalent, which doesn’t exist but could definitely exist. So I felt I had to, because I come from a place that is itself not reformed, and is itself on the way to these places,” he said.
The Kashmir Files, despite receiving poor reviews, was lauded by the ruling party and was one of the biggest hits of 2022.