Describing the film “The Kashmir Files” as “propaganda”, Nadav Lapid, the jury chief at International Film Festival India (IFFI) said that he was shocked that such a film was included in the competition. Israel’s envoy to India, Naor Gilon slammed him for his statement on Tuesday.

Naor Gilon’s Statement   

Criticizing Lapid, Gilon said that he should be ashamed of abusing the Indian invitation to him for being a judge in the panel of judges at the film festival. These comments came after the jury head, Nadav Lapid described the film as “propaganda” and “vulgar”.

Gilon took to Twitter to write an open letter criticising Lapid’s comments and gave reasons for the same.

He wrote, “In Indian culture, they say that a guest is like God. You (Lapid) have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you.”

Saying he condemns such a statement, he further wrote, “As a son of a holocaust survivor, I was extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler’s List, the Holocaust and worse. I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here.”

Israel and India Relations 

The envoy said that one of the reasons why the Indians invited him and Fauda co-creators Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff is to celebrate the love towards Israel and the Israeli series.

“I understand your need in retrospect to ‘justify’ your behaviour but I can’t understand why you told (Israeli) Ynet news afterward that the minister and I said on stage that there is a similarity between our countries because ‘we fight a similar enemy and reside in a bad neighbourhood”, he wrote in the open letter.

Also Read: ResearchED: What Are The Controversies Regarding Vivek Agnihotri’s “The Kashmir Files”?

He further said, “We did speak about the similarities and closeness between our countries. The minister spoke about his visits to Israel, it is a Hi-Tech nation and the potential of combining this with the film industry. I spoke about the fact that we grew up watching Indian films.”  

He also said that we must be humble when India, such a great film culture consumes Israeli content. “I’m no film expert but I do know that it’s insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price,” he said.

Saying that the friendship between Israel and India is very strong, Gilon said that he wants to apologize for the bad manner in which they reciprocated the love and generosity shown by India.

Lapid’s Statement About The Film

At the closing ceremony of IFFI, Lapid said that the film was inappropriate for an artistic and competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. “I feel comfortable to openly share this feeling with you since the spirit of the festival can truly accept critical discussion which is essential for art and life”, Lapid said.

The Kashmir Files was released on March 11 this year and became a part of the IFFI and was screened on November 22. 

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Money Control, Economic Times, The Print 

Find the blogger: Palak Dogra 

This post is tagged under: Kashmir Files, The Kashmir Files, Kashmir Files controversies, International Film Festival India, film festival, Nadav Lapid, Naor Gilon, Israel, Israel series, Israel envoy

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