In what is being seen as yet another instance of governmental censorship of creative expression in film, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (IFFI) has refused to exempt two films – Malayalam film Sexy Durga and Marathi film Nude from the 48th edition of the film festival. Although initially the jury had submitted the list to the ministry on September 20-21, but when the line was made public, these two films were suspiciously missing from the list, leaving a disappointed IFFI chief Sujoy Ghosh with no choice but to resign from the post. S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan and Nude director Ravi Jadhav too are reported to be extremely shaken over the removal of their films from the Panorama section. Also read: Sujoy Ghosh resigns as jury chief of International Film Festival of India after Nude and S Durga were removed
For all those who are clueless as to why has S Durga been banned? Here’s a quick gist on the film for you to decide if at all it even violates/hurts any sentiments. So Durga is a strong feminist film that stars Rajshri Deshpande as Durga opposite Kannan Nayar. The plot basically revolves around a North Indian migrant and a Keralite youth named Kabeer, running away on a midnight. They are waiting for a transport to reach the nearest railway station and catch a train to a distant place. However, two small time gangsters, transporting arms, offer assistance to the couple. The hapless “Durga” encounters a cross section of the society through the rest of the night. Parallel to the journey of Durga, another mysterious event inter-cuts in the film. In a Kerala village, devotees perform ‘Garudan Thookkam, a ritual art form submitted as a reward for the problems solved in the abode of Goddess Kali, who represents Goddess Durga’s personified wrath & embodied fury.”
The film was screened at several film festivals across the globe and also won over 9 awards, yet it’s looked down upon by the IFFI. Do you really think a film like this that focuses on a woman’s struggle, should be banned just because it’s title says “Sexy Durga”? You can draw your conclusions in the comments below and keep watching this space for more updates.