Kolkata: Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee has rallied support for Bhobishyoter Bhoot, the film directed by Anik Dutta, which was pulled out from all theatres in West Bengal within a day of its release. Theatre owners didn’t cite any reason regarding why the film was withdrawn, while one said, they did so following police instructions.
Police authorities, however, have denied issuing any such instruction.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award winning actor, in a letter addressed to Dutta, said that he was stunned at the film being pulled out from the theatres. He strongly protested the ‘fascist policy’ that worked behind the scenes to stop the film’s screening. There is a strong reason to believe that Dutta’s comments during the 2018 Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), prompted the administration to take off his film, he alleged.
Dutta, at a KIFF seminar, had rued about the huge cutouts and banners of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, instead of filmmakers and film actors, placed all over the city as part of the festival’s promotion. Nowhere in the world, he said, does a film festival get overshadowed by a pseudo-political propaganda.
Bhobishyoter Bhoot is a dark comedy and has reportedly criticised several leading political parties of the state and beyond.
Dutta, along with actors Barun Chanda and Kaushik Sen who are a part of the cast, and the film’s music director Debojyoti Mishra, attended a sit-in programme in front of a city metro station yesterday. Filmmaker Tarun Majumdar said at the sit-in that the withdrawal is an attack on the freedom of expression in the country. No authority, he said, can stop the screening of a film after it has been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Poet Mandakranta Sen condemned the film’s withdrawal and said that democratic rights are being repeatedly infringed upon in the country.
Padma Shri awardee author Nabaneeta Dev Sen, directors Srijit Mukherji and Atanu Ghosh, actors Parambrata Chatterjee, Anirban Bhattacharya and others, have also voiced their concern over the arbitrary withdrawal of the film.
Bhobishyoter Bhoot opened on 15 February to positive reviews.