The Aamir Khan-starrer PK, which faced the wrath of a section of people allegedly for depicting Hindu religion in bad light, is setting collection records besides garnering support from the progressive groups. On the other hand, a Malayalam filmmaker has been running from pillar to post for nearly two years after his film was denied censor certificate, allegedly for hurting the sentiments of the Christian community.
Koothuparamba native T Deepesh completed the film Pithavinum Puthranum in 2012, with great expectations because that was a departure from the kind of films that the Malayali audience were used to. But, unfortunately, it was rejected clearance by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) even after the director approached the review committee.
“According to CBFC, the film could not be certified for public exhibition because the content of the film was likely to hurt the religious sentiments of the Christian community,” said Deepesh, who has already made a couple of feature films and a few award-winning short films, including Typewriter and Save. “But in my film there is nothing that could hurt Christianity as such, because it explores the lives of two nuns,” he pointed out. “Though some dark characters among the priests find place in the film, it is not about religion,” he vouches.
“It explores the inner yearnings of a nun who dreams of colorful dress and the brightness of life. If the authorities can permit the book by Sister Jesmi, why not a film that explores the depths of a nun’s thoughts?” he asked. But Deepesh is yet to get a clear answer, even as he is finalizing the print with English subtitles to submit to the appellate tribunal as the last attempt to get the clearance. What is ironic is that the Censor Board members were all praise for the film but they said they could not give clearance because there were more than 20 complaints against the film. “But how come anybody raise the complaint without watching the film,” asked the director.
“Even the Pope has said there are some shady elements among the priests. Then why they are after my film, that too without seeing it?” Deepesh wondered. “Though the earlier name of the film was ‘Pithavinum Puthranum Parisudhathmavinum’ (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), it was later renamed ‘Pithavinum Puthranum’ to avoid any controversy,” he added. “Unfortunately even the progressive movements that came to support PK, or the Left parties that vouch for freedom of expression, did not come to support us and the industry organizations feign ignorance,” Deepesh said. “We made the film under banner of Track & Trolly Productions spending Rs 1.75 crore and the uncertainty has affected the producers too.”
~ P. Sudhakaran