Banning the Screening of Sanskrit Movie at International Film Fest of Kerala is Cultural Fascism

via published on October 15, 2015
Kochi: The International Film Festival being staged in Kerala has placed a ban on Sanskrit movie ‘Priyamanasam’. According to reports, the movie that was shortlisted was later omitted to suit the conveniences of certain individual interests and because the movie “showcased Hindu deities”.

‘Priyamanasam’ is based on the life and times of Unnai Warrier and is directed by Vinod Mankara. The movie focuses on the internal, emotional and spiritual conflict endured by Unnai Warrier while composing ‘Nalacharitam’.

Sources have stated that the director was informed the movie will not be screened at the festival. “Authorities of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (Motion Picture Academy of the Kerala State) informed me that the movie willnot be screened because Hindu deities have been shown in the movie. All guidelines specified by the Academy have been adhered to. In spite of this, barring the movie from being screened is nothing but sheer cultural fascist mentality,” said director Vinod.

It is after a long span of 35 year that a fully Sanskritized movie has been directed. The movie was shortlisted in the ‘Indian’ category of the International Film Festival, where movies from other Indian languages, with the exception of Malayalam have been included. “Academy officials have also come up with a sudden lame excuse that Sanskrit movie cannot be included in this category,” said Vinod.

“Unnai Warrier, who lived in the 17th century, spent his entire life in Koodalmanikkya Swami Temple in Irinjalakkuda and Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, knotting flower garlands. So for the very same reason temples form an integral part of the movie, along with showcasing the Hindu society during his times. The Academy, instead of viewing the movie as a work depicting native art forms, has chosen to view it in an egotistical manner,”said the director.

At a time when the Sanskrit movie has received invitation for being screened in European lands and the US, the step-motherly treatment on home turf is a demotivating and disappointing episode. The American Cultural Department has also declared financial aid for the movie’s cultural enhancement.

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