Sri Lankan film Muttrupulliya, a docu-drama that portrays the life of the Tamil ethnic population in post-war, has won its appeal with the Indian Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in Chennai refused to certify it.
Directed by Sherine Xavier, a Sri Lankan national, the film was screened at the Jaffna Film Festival in Colombo, but it could not be premiered in India as the CBFC said it was “glorifying the bad effects” of the bloody conflict that killed about 100,000 people in a 23-year-long military campaign.
“The picture will affect the neighbouring country relations. It also refers to real political leaders of Sri Lanka,” said the CBFC.
Ms. Xavier along with her producer T.S. Subramanian challenged the CBFC’s decision at the FCAT, which passed a ruling in their favour on February 1 but imposed some conditions for screening in India.
The film-makers have agreed to morph the LTTE flags, cut out photographs of its slain leaders, issue a health warning against narcotics and put up a disclaimer that the film is a work of fiction inspired by real events.
M. Mathialagan, Regional Officer at the Central Board of Film Certification in Chennai, told The Hindu that the film was banned after extensive consultation with senior censor board officials, which included its Mumbai-based chairman Pahlaj Nilhani.
“They [film-makers] have shown an Indian girl rolling a hundred rupee note of Indian currency and snorting drugs through it. How can they disrespect our currency?,” said Mr. Mathialagan.
“There is a picture of Prabakaran and the LTTE flag in a couple of scenes. It is a clear PR exercise for them [Prabakaran and LTTE],” he added.