Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha attracted my controversies for its sexual content and being too bold, so and so that the film was even denied certification by the censor board. But finally after much drama, the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to grant an A certificate to the film.
The FCAT has directed that the film be granted certification after “voluntary and some additional cuts and deletions”. Lipstick Under My Burkha was deemed too “lady oriented” in content and according to the censor board, it is laced with sexual scenes and abusive words.
FCAT headed by Manmohan Sarin, found merit in the submissions made by director Alankrita Shrivastava and the film’s producer Prakash Jha against the orders of the CBFC’s Examining and Revising Committees, read a statement from FCAT.
The film, starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak Shah, chronicles the secret lives of four women of different ages in a small town in India as they search for different kinds of freedom. The makers in their appeal had asserted that the theme of the film is about “women claiming their rights over their body, their ideas, decisions, aspirations and fulfillment of their dreams”. They said that the film is “about emancipation and assertion of women rights, culminating in their liberation and empowerment”.
The FCAT observed that CBFC “misdirected themselves in denying certification on the ground that the story of the film is women oriented. There cannot be any embargo on a film being women-oriented or containing sexual fantasies and expression of the inner desires of women”.
The press note, issued by the FCAT, read: “As a matter of general approach if the aspect of sexual desires and their expression is sensitively handled without bringing coarseness, vulgarity or obscenity, pandering prurient tendencies, then it is not to be disallowed.”
The FCAT also directed some voluntary cuts or reduction in the length of the sex scenes. In addition to the above, some cuts, which the FCAT felt were necessary particularly in the length of the scenes were so directed.
The statement read: “We cannot lose sight that there is a thin line between creative and artistic expression being depicted in a natural sex scene. The same can be obliterated if the sexual scenes are continued for a long duration which may not be necessary or integral to the film. Besides, it would then infringe the guidelines requiring such scenes to be kept to the minimum.”
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