Onir: Censor board's cuts in 'Chauranga' unfair
Filmmaker Onir is sad that his social-drama 'Chauranga' has run into trouble with the censor board while much more "regressive stuff" gets away in the name of entertainment
Filmmaker Onir is sad that his social-drama 'Chauranga' has run into trouble with the censor board while much more "regressive stuff" gets away in the name of entertainment.
Produced by Onir and Sanjay Suri, "Chauranga" is a story of a young boy who faces death for writing a love letter in a village steeped in caste-hierarchy.
The board has asked Onir to edit a love-making scene between Sanjay Suri and Tannishtha Chatterjee, and another scene involving a Dalit boy being pushed into a well.
"It feels sad when I see a film like this with social significance running into trouble with the censors. It has been appreciated at many festivals and the scenes are not there for titillation and not graphic at all," Onir told PTI.
"And then you see much more regressive stuff getting away in the name of entertainment. I think that is very unfair," he rued.
The film, directed by Bikas Ranjan Mishra, is based on the story of a Brahmin 'zamindar' (landlord) in Jharkhand.
The "My Brother Nikhil" filmmaker says he does not understand the "logic" behind the censor cuts.
"They have asked to edit parts of the scenes... remove long shot from one, close up from another. It is like you are showing a pilot sitting in the cockpit about to fly the plane, but you are asked not to show the take-off," he said.
"It is weird because the film deals with caste atrocities.
We are not encouraging that, it is not even violent... I don't understand the logic behind this," he said.
The board's decision to cut certain scenes from the latest James Bond film "Spectre" met with criticism recently.
Onir says the board is not an authority to decide what is "too long" for the audience.
"There was a problem with a kissing scene in the James Bond film. Who are they to decide what is too long and what is not? You cannot let your personal comfort encroach this space. It is not a problem of just one man, but it is an overall issue," he said.
Onir suggests revamping of the Cinematograph Act of 1952 for film certification.
"I am all for revamping the Cinematograph Act. It is a misuse of the Act which is now outdated. Instead of censorship, there should be a grading system and not getting into cutting films," the filmmaker said.
"The Act was created when there was no Internet. Today, children have access to almost everything where they can see what they want on Internet, even on TV. Film is a medium which is already monitored," he said.
"Chauranga", which won the Best Indian Film award at MAMI last year, is scheduled to release on January 8 next year.