The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has stirred up yet another controversy by refusing to certify the trailer of Tamil film Neelam which is based on the Sri Lankan civil war.
According to a Facebook post by director Venkatesh Kumar, the CBFC worries that the film may put India-Sri Lanka relations at risk. “But they are not bothered about the lives lost in the Civil War?” he questions.
According to Janani K’s report in Deccan Chronicle, Neelam is about the rise of rebel groups in Sri Lanka and also traces how the civil war broke out. It chronicles the developments in this context from the 1960s to 2000.
The trailer cut of the film (4 minutes and 30 seconds) was submitted to the CBFC. However, the Board believes it may jeopardise the relationship between the two countries.
The film had earlier run into trouble in 2013 as well, S Subhakeerthana reported for The New Indian Express. The shooting was stalled because of threats to the filmmakers. “The producers (Renuka and Kishore) were not supportive,” Venkatesh said.
“To be told now that the trailer that runs for about four minutes and 30 seconds is considered a threat to the India-Sri Lanka relationship is really the last straw,” he added.
He also clarified that his film does not, in any way, condone LTTE chief Prabhakaran or the militant group’s acts. He said it was merely an “honest account” of the genocide that had taken place.
Venkatesh also criticised the CBFC’s move and said that filmmaking is no longer a creative expression. Saying that he was even ready to cut a few scenes and mute problematic words, Venkatesh added that if the CBFC continues to refuse certification, he would have to deal with the issue in court.