'Problem is hypersensitive India and political lobbies, not Censor Board'

FPBanerjee, Kashyap at Express Adda on Friday. Oinam Anand

For film directors Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee, known for their edgy and realistic films, it's not so much the Censor Board as the "hypersensitive" country that is the problem.

Speaking at the Express Adda here on Friday, Kashyap said: "The problem is not with the members of the Censor Board, the problem is with the country. We are so hypersensitive and the government has decided to entertain everything and everybody. It frustrates me that I can watch a film like Death of a President in a hall in the US, which is a fictional story about the death of George W Bush."

Agreeing with him, Banerjee added: "The Censor Board is only following a template. It's the various political lobbies that create the problems. The real animal is the Cinematograph Act."

The freewheeling chat was moderated by Shekhar Gupta, Editor in Chief, The Express Group, and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy Research, and Contributing Editor, The Indian Express.

When author Anuja Chauhan asked whether stars need them or they need stars, Kashyap replied in half jest, "they do call and express how they want to work with me, but then they tell me what I should make."

Banerjee pointed out that Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur and its raw appeal worked because of the absence of big stars. "It was his conscious decision to stay away from big stars in the film, and that worked," he said.

When a film student asked the directors if they ever feel like they are lying to the audience, Kashyap replied, "the ending of Dev D was a lie."

"People have high expectations from filmmakers, but it's an expensive art form, unlike writing and painting. Mrinal Sen once said that 'the day a camera costs as much as a pen, I will do anything you want me to'," said Kashyap.

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