Kerala High Court Gave It A Week, Censor Board Yet To Clear Controversial Film

After the regional body refused the film a certification, the filmmaker moved the High Court which then ordered the CBFC to review the movie

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Kerala High Court Gave It A Week, Censor Board Yet To Clear Controversial Film

The film touches on a range of topics through the life and struggles of a gay artist.

Kerala:  While cracking the whip on the censor board of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the Kerala High Court ordered it to take immediate decision on the controversial film Ka Bodyscapes. A group of top members including CBFC chief Pahlaj Nahalani flew down to Thiruvananthapuram on Friday to review the film. The court has given the board a week for the job.

Ka Bodyscapes, directed by Jayan Cherian, has been running into rough waters since a year and a half after the regional certification board refused it a certification last year in April after which the Kerala-based filmmaker moved the High Court, challenging the decision. The High Court then ordered the apex body of CBFC to review the movie.

On July 25, the Kerala High Court rapped the CBFC for contempt of court and ordered the review of the movie within a week. This was the third such time-bound order by the High Court in the last one year in this case.

According to sources, the board was split after watching the film yesterday. "Some suggest the film be shown with cuts while others want it banned," a source said. The board is yet to take a final call.

One of the objections raised by the certification board was the manner in which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was portrayed in the film.

"The board asked why we are critiquing the RSS in the film? However, that's not the case. We haven't mentioned the RSS at all. One of the characters in the movie is a right wing media person and in his office there is photo of a right wing man. At another place is a statue of a right wing ideologue, which in reality can be found at a Kozhikode beach. These are backdrop elements in the films to establish the present socio-political scenario in Kerala, while telling the struggles of a gay artist. It's not about the RSS at all," 51-year old Cherian told NDTV.

The film has several young activists who led social movements in Kerala in the last few years such as the Kiss Of Love, Queerala and more in key roles.

Another objection was about a character which the board alleged resembles Hanuman. "The protagonist in my film is a gay painter. And one of his masterpieces is a painting of nude person flying with books, which includes anti-homosexuality clause of IPC 377. It has no reference to Hanuman," Mr Cherian said.

He was allowed to showcase his movie at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) last year only after an interim order from the High Court.

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