Bengali thespian Soumitra Chatterjee shot off a letter, calling the taking off of the film from Bengali theatres as 'vindictive' and 'undemocratic'.
Kolkata: Bengali cinema’s living legend Soumitra Chatterjee recently wrote a letter to support director Anik Dutta's Bengali film Bhobishyoter Bhoot (Ghost of the Future). Just after its release last week the movie was pulled off from theatres across West Bengali, and it hit not only Tollywood but also the audience who were looking forward to watching the social satire.
The movie feature best of Bengali cinema such as Paran Banerjee, Swastika Mukherjee, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Barun Chanda, Moon Moon Sen, Kharaj Mukherjee, Kaushik Sen to name a few.
When the movie was taken off the halls, social media flooded with reactions against the shocking decision. Kunal Sen, son of late filmmaker Mrinal Sen also took to his Facebook page to express his views.
Later, celebs like Srijit Mukherji, Abir Chatterjee and many others raised their voices to support it. The director said in an interview that the movie is a social and political satire that released to packed houses on Friday. It was apparently taken off by the hall owners following "instructions from higher authorities", he said.
"Still, I haven't got any official communication' regarding the cancellation, all they (hall owners) said was that the instructions were from higher authorities. But I have received immense support and the film fraternity has shown great solidarity," said the director of the 2012 blockbuster Bhooter Bhobishyot (Future of Ghosts).
The sit-in was organised by fans and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists outside Star Theatre, one of the oldest commercial Bengali theatre.
Expressing shock, Chatterjee said it was a 'vindictive act' of the administration. He referred to the comment made by the director during the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival last November.
Dutta had then criticised the 'excessive' use of chief minister Mamata Banerjee's posters in and around the film fest venues and argued that the film personalities should get more limelight during such events.
Also read: Mamata Banerjee’s tyranny continues in Bengal: Satirical film Bhobishyoter Bhoot stopped from playing in theatres
Chatterjee wondered if there will be 'any platform in the country where people can express themselves freely' and whether filmmakers will be able to include any content with which the authorities do not agree. "I strongly condemn such fascist policy even if they stay undercover," he wrote.
In his letter, Chatterjee hoped that all those responsible for taking off the film from the cinemas 'will realise that it is an undemocratic act' and 'protest against it'. A release from the film's production company said prior to its release, the State Intelligence Unit wrote to the producer Kalyanmoy Chatterjee seeking a private screening 'on a priority basis'.
They asked for the screening in the light of information received that it may 'hurt public sentiments which may lead to political law and order issues'. The producer had immediately replied that the film has been passed by the CBFC and asking for private screening was beyond the jurisdiction and legal competence of the police.
The team of Bhobishyoter Bhoot got no further response till the film the released.
(Inputs from News Agency)
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Last Updated Feb 18, 2019, 1:13 PM IST