Zee JLF | They have to strangulate us and we can stream: Vishal Bhardwaj

He also felt that this is the best time for an artiste to react against inimical forces

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(Clockwise from top left) Vishal Bharadwaj and Peeti Taneja at a session on Shakespeare; Nawazuddin Siddiqui with Nandita Das and Vinod Dua at a session on Manto; and Anurag Kashyap and Vani Tripathi Tikki at session at the Samvad tent

Bollywood stood for freedom of expression at Zee JLF on Friday as directors Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap and Nandita Das spoke about the current cultural milieu. "If the Supreme Court says that Padmaavat should be released and in some cities the film isn't screened, if this isn't chutzpah, then what is," wondered Bhardwaj. He also felt that this is the best time for an artiste to react against inimical forces. "They want to strangulate us and we can scream," he said.

Das, who showed up with actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays the eponymous role in her Manto biopic, said her forthcoming film is a response to the current situation. "Manto was a champion of free speech. He was undeterred by the obscenity trials he had to face. He would have been the right person to respond to today's situation," said the actor-turned director. "We have forgotten to ask the questions we are supposed to ask today," she said.       

Kashyap, flush with the success of his latest film Mukkabaaz was angsty in a cool kind of way. Though he was referring to his films Gangs of Wasseypur and Dev.D, his veiled dig at people who are opposing Padmaavat was unmistakable. "We will endure everything in real life but when it comes to films we have restrictions," said the director who have never shied away from speaking his mind. In the course of his conversation with Vani Tripathi, who is a member of the CBFC, Kashyap said that the "problem arises when men decide on behalf of women that certain films could be offensive".

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