This film director from Kerala has been desperately trying for two years to get his movie cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification.
Work for the Malayalam movie “Pithavinum Putranum” was completed in 2012 but is yet to receive clearance. The movie portrays the life of two nuns who wish to lead a life like that of other women of their age but are restricted by the rules of the church. CBFC claimed that movie may hurt religious sentiments.
The film portrays few Christian priests, who are characters in it, in a bad light says the board. The CBFC also declined to permit director Deepesh Thacholi from screening the movie privately saying that it might hurt the religious sentiments of the Christian community.
“There is nothing in my movie that hurts the religious sentiments of Christians or for that matter anyone. I have only shown the life of two nuns who wish to live like others. It is true that in the story there are negative characters and few among them are priests but how does that make the movie anti-Christian?” award-wining short film maker and director Deepesh asked.
He said that Kerala has become such that one could make movies of any sort but if it were to show anything bad about what is happening in Christianity, it could not be released.
“People have been made to forget that Jesus Christ and Christian priests are different. This is being done so that no one can question the priests. All what they do should remain unquestionable and must be deemed to be correct,” he told TNM.
He said that the true ideology of Jesus Christ has been lost and that it has been hijacked by few priests. However, it is not the first time that Deepesh has run into trouble with the censor board. He had made his debut in the film industry by directing a short film “Type Writer” in 1997 which was well acclaimed and also won him an award.
His next short film “Save” too was appreciated. It was for his third movie, “Annyam,” that he first faced trouble with the censors. “Annyam was a short film intended to show how Neem fungicide was wrongly patented by America. I tried to make a simple concept where in two girl kids were asking elders why this was done, and there is a scene in the film where an elder is seen explaining it to the kids by saying that America has kept cameras and could watch what we in India were doing. This particular scene was asked to be removed. They said that our relations with America could be harmed. I did not buckle and the film has still not received a nod from them,” Deepesh said.
Deepesh is a school teacher by profession, and teaches in a school in Kannur district of Kerala. He says that he makes movies to send a political message to the people. “Movie making for me is nothing but a tool to spread my political thought. Some sit on dharnas, some conduct rallies, I make movies.”
“I believe firmly in the Leftist ideology but belong to neither of the two left parties in Kerala,” he said. His earlier movies too were of the kinds that sent strong messages. “Nagaram” was one where a mother bobbitises her husband after coming to know that he was involved in raping their girl child. His next movie “Anguram” was about the diversity in Western Ghats and was linked to terrorism. The main role in the movie was that of a cat. It is his third movie “Pitavinum Putranum” in which Rs. 1.75 crore was invested, that has been stalled by the censors. However, he is confident that he will succeed in the battle.
The coming week he is set to begin the work for his next movie "Canvas."
“I fully believe in democracy despite its minor faults, and I will fight my way out democratically. How much ever my works are going to be blocked like this I am not going to leave India like how M.F. Hussain did. I will live here, I will die here,” said the thirty-seven-year-old director.