Why the Ban: 10 Films you absolutely should watch!
India's censor board is taking a turn to the past. At a time when Indie films are finding audiences and makers are slowly touching upon sensitive topics, the censor board is banning them, just like it did with 'Lipstick under My Burkha'. Here are some films the censor board doesn't want you to see:
Lipstick under my Burkha
The latest film to join the banned films club is Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burqa, which is produced by Prakash Jha was denied any certification by the CBFC. The board is said to have not liked the ‘sexual freedom’ the film talks about. Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah star in leading roles. With actors as brilliant as them, you have to check them out!
This was another Deepa Mehta movie which faced a lot of backlash. The movie, which featured John Abraham and Lisa Ray in stellar roles talked about the stigmas faced by widows in the country. With a script by Anurag Kashyap, the movie is exceptional in its portrayl, yet was ridiculed and banned by the Board. There were even reports of damages which occurred to the sets.
Unfreedom , which was planning to release in 2015 was banned by the CBFC for its adult content. If the film was allowed to release, it would have brought a new level of freedom for filmmakers in the country. The board didn’t prefer the lesbian angle and Islamic radicalism shown in the film. The CBFC rejected the scenes which featured nudity and called out the film for ‘igniting unneeded and artificial passions’. What could have been an exemplary film was sadly, denied a release!
Parzania still remains one of Bollywood’s most raw and truthfully crafted films. The movie, which stars well known actress Sarika revolves around the 2002 riots which took place in Gujarat. The movie might have won a national award but didn’t allow the film to be allowed to release in Gujarat.
This Anurag Kashyap film was met with a lot of abuse before finally releasing. Said to be based on a famous serial murder case in 1997, the movie was bogged down for its explicit drug and sexual content in the film. Although the film never saw an official release, pirated versions were found in the market.
Even a film by Sunny Deol couldn’t escape the wrath of the Censor Board. Also starring Sakshi Tanwar, the movie talks about the commercialization of Varanasi. After the trailer was releases, the makers received FIR’s and death threats and ultimately the CBFC too banned the film. The movie, was leaked online and received rave reviews for its terrific storyline.
Another recent film on the CBFC’s agenda was Malayalam film ‘Ka Bodyscapes’ which centres around the relationship between two men. The censor board refused to certify a film which ‘glorifies gay and homosexual relationship’. The film would have been a landmark film to touch upon social taboos, especially in the world of regional cinema.
Not exactly a feature film, the CBFC tried to clip the wings on the documentary on the horrific 2012 gangrape in Delhi. The documentary, by British filmmaker Leslie Udwin was banned from being screened. The film was planned to be telecast on Women’s Day (8th March) but was pulled down by the government was hurting sentiments and featuring offensive remarks on rape.
Deepa Mehta , a well known and appreciated critic made Fire, which talked about lesbian relationship between two sisters in law in a family.CBFC, banned the film, which although received critical acclaim and led to the two actresses Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das receiving death threats.
Firaaq was one more film which revolved around the deadly riots in Gujarat. The movie faced the ire from all corner, especially Nandita Das, who was ridiculed and criticized for hurting people’s sentiments. Nonetheless, the film finally saw the light of day when it was released. The movie which stars Tisca Chopra and Sanjay Suri received outstanding reviews. Along with Parzaania, you have to see this one to know for yourself!