Kolkata: Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee Tuesday joined the protests over withdrawal of the film ‘Bhobisyoter Bhoot’ (Future Ghosts) from city multiplexes and many single screens even as the director said he was mulling several steps including legal options.
Sharing the podium with the film’s director Anik Dutta and actors Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Badshah Moitra, the 84-year old actor 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 How can a film, passed by the Censor board, can be withdrawn from theatres in such a manner?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.”
He said it was a shocking incident.
Chatterjee had on February 17 penned an open letter in Bengali where he said, “the step to withdraw Bhobisyoter Bhoot from Kolkata theatres after release looks like a revengeful step for me.”
The ‘Legion of Honor’ recipient also said in the letter, “There is ample reason to infer that the step to take off the film from theatres is related to some comments made by director Anik Dutta at a discussion in recent Kolkata International Film Festival.”
“I can’t find appropriate language to condemn such incident. Will there be zero tolerance to independent opinion? Can’t there be contents in a film which may be disliked by the rulers? I protest such fascist policy even if that is under mask,” Chatterjee, said in that letter.
Expressing solidarity with the maker of Bhobishyoter Bhoot, director Srijit Mukherji said in a tweet, “Paraphrasing Chomsky, if you don’t believe in freedom of expression of people you disagree with, you don’t believe in it at all. One can argue, counter, reject, criticise, ignore, avoid but one cannot forcibly stop others from making their own judgement.
“In solidarity with the cast and crew of Bhobishyoter Bhoot, as I was with the cast and crew of Padmavati, Herbert, Budhdha In A Traffic Jam, The Accidental Prime Minister, Udtaa Punjaab and Daangaa,” Mukherji said in the tweet.
Dutta said during Tuesday’s protest meeting, held near Academy of Fine Arts complex, they were mulling several options including legal steps as the multi plex owners and theatres could not produce any written document or instruction with regard to sudden halt in screening of the film, despite the film registering high box office returns, a day after its release.
“We are also planning to upload the film on the Internet and wish to arrange private screenings in different localities,” he said.
The film had been released in more than 40 screens across the state on last Friday.