Have you heard about this? A new film festival plans to showcase all the scenes from previously deemed too racy for Indian viewers (including the first attempt at an on-screen kiss!) The “Cut-Uncut” festival in New Delhi will feature unedited versions of films that never made it past the Indian censor board.
Apparently sex, nudity, social unrest and violence will still be kept out of movie halls under India’s strict laws first drafted in 1952 and later amended in 1983. But in the year of Bollywood’s 100-year anniversary, “Cut-Uncut” has actually been organised by the ministry of information and broadcasting to show a more open-minded approach to film.
Until recently, long kissing scenes, nudity and visuals depicting acts of rebellion against the government were all censored. The festival started yesterday at Sri Fort Auditorium and goes on till the 28th of April. Well whaddya know? I’m actually pretty impressed!
A screening of the silent 1933 classic Karma starring Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, who were the first to attempt an on screen kiss (which was of course deleted!)
Screening of the contentious Malayalam coming-of-age movie Rathinirvedam from 1978.
A 2004 documentary called The Final Solution, on the sensitive subject of Hindu-Muslim religious rioting, previously banned for for being “highly provocative.”
Chennai-based filmmaker and film scholar K. Hariharan will analyse the audio cuts that have been imposed on profanity over the years. Followed by a panel discussion with Sholay director Ramesh Sippy, Omkara director Vishal Bhardwaj, and pro-censorship activist Pratibha Naithani.
Screenings of Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (part I) and M. Sasikumar’s Tamil movie Subramaniapuram, both of which feature lashings of strong language.
The theme “Sex, Nudity, Portrayal of Women in Cinema and the Kiss” will be thrashed out by producer Ekta Kapoor, filmmakers Jahnu Barua, Nitin Chandra and T.K. Rajeev Kumar and National Commission for Women member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar.
The third day will bring offenders and the offended together in the same room through conversations about movies and documentaries with political themes that have faced protests and censorship.
The festival, concludes with Yash Chopra’s Dharmaputra, which looks at communal strife at the time of Partition and the Telugu movie A Woman, which had to be renamed after its original title, A Woman in Brahminism, provoked a furore in Andhra Pradesh.