The Central Board of Film Certification has proved once again why its ‘sanskari’ title couldn’t have been less apt. Chaired by Pahlaj Nihalani, the board has refused certification to a Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes. The reason you ask? Because it glorifies gay relationships. This is the second movie that has been denied certification by the board in less than a month, the first being Lipstick Under My Burkha.
Film director Jayan Cherian took to Facebook to post the letter sent to him by the CBFC. Apart from this, the board cited another reason for the step- that the film showed Lord Hanuman in a poor light.
While this decision of the CBFC would definitely draw ire, FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan has supported the decision. Speaking to ANI on his last day at the office today, Gajendra said, “I would like to appreciate Censor Board and the revising committee that they stopped the film from showing. I got to know that Lord Hanuman has been shown in a derogatory manner. I object.”
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Gajendra added such movies shouldn’t be made at all. “Court should also not allow it. What do they have to prove by making movies on freedom of expression and artistic values? Do they want to show the future generation their parents in a bad light?” Gajendra said.
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The letter, from the second revising committee, says that the film has been unanimously denied certification for “glorifying” homosexual relationships, “vulgarity”, depicting Hinduism in a “derogatory” fashion and for depicting a “female Muslim character masturbating”
The first revising committee, too, refused to clear the film, saying; “The entire content of the Malayalam feature film Ka Bodyscapes is ridiculing, insulting and humiliating Hindu religion, in particular portraying Hindu Gods in a poor light. Derogatory words are used against women. The Hindu god, Hanuman is shown as coming in the books titled I am a Gay and other homosexual books. The film has also referenced to a lady masturbating, highlighting ‘gay’ by many ‘gay’ posters. The film offends human sensibilities by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity,” it added.
Cherian said the move went against the Kerala High Court order to certify the film with recommended changes.
“Ka Bodyscapes was first submitted to the CBFC in Thiruvananthapuram in April last year, but they refused to certify it, as did the Revising Committee in Chennai. I then approached the High Court, where the judge asked the CBFC to certify the film in 30 days. However, the CBFC chose to ignore the judgment and filed an appeal, stating that the case should have been addressed by a bench with more than one judge. In December 2016, the two-judge bench dismissed that appeal and asked them to certify the film in 90 days. But that too was overlooked by the CBFC, The Second Revising Committee, headed by CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani, again refused the film a certification,” he said.
Cherian also added, “My film, which has been selected at several festivals, was denied permission to be screened after intervention from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. For instance, screening at the Kerala Film Festival was canceled at the last moment under pressure from the ministry.The film revolves around a gay artist battling censorship against his work. The artwork in his studio depicts the history of gay art, including nude works by noted artists from across the world. But what the CBFC sees and also objects to is the nudity in those paintings. The court case can take ages. It’s already been a year since the film was completed. How can the CBFC be allowed to take such arbitrary decisions?” Cherian said.
Ka Bodyscapes features Adhithi, Tinto Arayani, Arundhathi and Nailambur Ayisha.