B-town action thriller banned for controversial themes

Published: February 2, 2013

Certain groups within the Indian community recently protested against the film and challenged a sequence in the film which showed a Moharram procession during a song.

LAHORE: 

The release of bi-lingual Bollywood action thriller David was banned in Pakistan on Wednesday night by the film censor board in Islamabad. The film failed to pass the criteria set by the board.

According to Pakistani censor codes, typically films should not reflect anything hurtful to national interest, Islam or the armed forces. In the past, local films such as Tere Bin Laden and Slackistan, have also been banned for controversial themes.

Neil Nitin Mukesh starrer David explores the relationship between a father and son.

Certain groups within the Indian community recently protested against the film and challenged a sequence in the film which showed a Moharram procession during a song. Director Bejoy Nambiar invited some of the protesters to view a private screening of the offensive content so that an agreement could be reached. However, after the song titled Ya Hussain was viewed by the section of the audience in question, Nambiar himself decided to cut it from the film, based on their reactions.

The Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Rai Akbar told The Express Tribune that the film had been screened and the board felt that it failed to pass the criteria due to its controversial nature.

“It was very clear that the film could not be screened in Pakistan, because it failed to pass the basic criteria given by the censor board,” said Akbar. “There were several issues with the film, but our main point was that the film was not suitable for viewing in Pakistan,” added Akbar.

Major local distributor, International Multi-Group of Companies, agrees that there are several moments in the film which portray religion in a negative light. “The CBFC has stopped it because of some covert religious references in the film and I as a distributor completely stand by their decision,” said Head of IMGC Entertainment Amjad Rasheed.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • gp65.
    Feb 2, 2013 - 3:36AM

    Pakistan has every right to prevent any Bollywood movie that it doesn’t like from being screened in Pakstan.You will notice that Indian media does not characterise all this as hate towards India unlike people in Pakistan who react negatively if their diplomats are not allowed to visit our literary festivals.

    Incidentally Tere Bin Laden was not a local film but a Bollywood film.

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  • Vinod
    Feb 2, 2013 - 12:09PM

    @gp65.:
    Well said. Our media considers this for what it is – a mere political decision, meant to appease certain groups.

    While I clearly understand the cultural sensitivities, banning movies or anything is never the solution. people are going to watch this through torrents. Banning only hurts the legal business. Rather than banning, it is better to know and appreciate the difference in opinions and a different perspective. While we at home have our own share of stupid decisions of banning movies(Viswaroopam), thankfully it is resolved and the movie is being released today.
    Grow up, India/Pakistan.

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