Aparna Sen, Soumitra Chatterjee join Kolkata rally to protest withdrawal of Bhobishyoter Bhoot from theatres

Press Trust of India

Mar 11, 2019 10:03:45 IST

Kolkata: Icons of Bengali film industry, including Aparna Sen and Soumitra Chatterjee, took part in a rally here Sunday protesting withdrawal of political satire movie Bhobishyoter Bhoot (Future Ghosts) from cinema halls in the city.

The film was allegedly withdrawn from single-screen theatres and multiplexes a day after its release on 16 February. Director of the film, Anik Dutta, has alleged that the owners of the theatres were forced to stop the screening though it ran to packed houses in many places on the day it released.

Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, directors Aparna Sen and Buddhadeb Dasgupta were among those who walked in the protest rally from Madhusudan Manch in Dhakuria to Jadavpur in south Kolkata.

Aparna Sen, Soumitra Chatterjee join Kolkata rally to protest withdrawal of Bhobishyoter Bhoot from theatres

(R) Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta join the protests. (L) People wore black masks and held posters as a sign of protest. Images from Facebook

Artistes and technicians from film studios, young film enthusiasts and students, wore skeleton and ghost masks with slogans demanding explanation for the withdrawal of the film from cinema halls. Some raised slogans alleging "silence of the administration and the ruling establishment" over this issue.

The story of the film revolves around a group of ghosts, including a politician, who assemble at a refugee camp and try to be relevant in the contemporary times. The film has Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Moon Moon Sen, Kaushik Sen and, veterans Barun Chanda and Paran Bandyopadhyay in leading roles.

Aparna Sen said banning a film passed by the censor board was akin to "throttling freedom of speech" and goes against democratic principles.

"This is nothing but fascism," she alleged.

Condemning the withdrawal of the film, multiple National Award winning director Buddhadeb Dasgupta said, "I had to physically join the protests. It is high time we raise our voice against such autocracy."

Director of the film Anik Dutta said Sunday's response from the film industry should make the administration sit-up, "gauge public mood" and take measures to restore the film in the multiplex and single-screen movie halls where it was released.

Movie director Sandip Ray, the son of auteur Satyajit Ray, in a message registered his protest against the withdrawal of the film.

Earlier, an appeal to join the march in the city was issued by Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Tarun Majumder, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and veteran poet Sankha Ghosh.

Dutta, who is known for his outspokenness, had earlier claimed that while he was informed by hall management that the film was taken off "following instructions from the higher authority" he was yet to get any official communication of cancellation even after 20 days.

At an earlier protest meet, Chatterjee, who is 84, had said, "I am stunned. How can a film, passed by the Censor board, can be withdrawn from theatres in such a manner? It is autocracy."

The film had been released in more than 40 screens across the state.

Updated Date: Mar 11, 2019 10:03:45 IST