The Kerala Story

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The Kerala Story is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language film directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah.

Directed by Sudipto Sen.

Shalini's mother[edit]

  • Just come back, you're not safe Shalini. Please come back.
    • Devadarshini as Shalini's mother

Quotes about The Kerala Story[edit]

The Kerala Story' on the silver screen in Eindhoven is like the healthy eye of Salman Rushdie, who continues to study the world. - de Volkskrant

A[edit]

  • The scenes involving rape, beheading, chopping of hands, and violence against women make it an 'Adults Only' film. It's a film against 'Love Jihad.' Many dialogues relate to religion and leave the audience in laughs and thought-provoking moments. ... 'The Kerala Story' deserves a watch by all those who liked 'The Kashmir Files'. It's made in a bold and uncompromising manner...
  • The fact that both the Kerala story and Kashmir Files are blockbusters speaks volumes about the people of this country and not the makers and those in power promoting it. These films are getting this reception because they validate the prejudice and hate that exists within.
    • — Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) May 11, 2023 [1]
  • Politician Jitendra Awhad, member of the Nationalist Congress Party, stated that The Kerala Story is not based on facts, is right to be banned from screens, and went as far as to say that the producer should be "hanged in public." A shocking assertion (and the death of irony), considering that the film is being accused of inciting hatred and violence.

B[edit]

  • West Bengal govt has decided to ban the movie 'The Kerala Story'. This is to avoid any incident of hatred and violence, and to maintain peace in the state: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
    • Mamata Banerjee as quoted by — ANI (@ANI) May 8, 2023 at Twitter [2]
  • West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called ‘The Kerala Story’ a distorted movie and declared a state-wide ban of the same. Her statement read, “This (ban) is to avoid any incident of hatred and violence, and to maintain peace in the state. Why did they make The Kashmir Files? To humiliate one section... What is The Kerala Story? If they can prepare The Kashmir Files to condemn the Kashmiri people... now they are defaming Kerala. Next, they will make ‘The Bengal Files’.”
  • Speaking about 'The Kerala Story' controversy, the actor told ANI, "They are the same faces who are opposing such films and they can be seen everywhere. Be it CAA protest or Shaheen Bagh protest or JNU protest. They were the same faces who criticised 'The Kashmir Files'. I don't know their motive and neither believe in paying attention towards them. In fact, they have become redundant." Further talking about the film, he added, "Again I would say they are the same faces. I have not seen the film but I am happy that people are making films which are close to reality. And those who feel it is a propaganda are free to make movies dealing with the subject they find perfect. No one is stopping them. "

C[edit]

  • The Kerala Story: A gut-wrenching recreation of an inconvenient truth.. The film has either met with complete silence from the mainstream Bollywood fraternity.. A large portion of the media is lambasting this film for being malicious propaganda. This is eerily similar to how these people were reacting to The Kashmir Files, a film that documented the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus. While they are targeting the extravagant figure of 32000 girls being poached out of Kerala and sent to ISIS as recruits by the director to discredit the film, I was more concerned with the statement and the accounts that were shared at the end of the film. Even if a single forced or coerced conversion has happened, it is a matter that should have been dealt with sternly. It is also a fact that news of forced conversions is not new in this part of the country and hence to shrug the film off as mere propaganda is bizarre.

D[edit]

  • THE RELEASE OF THE FILM The Kerala Story has raised as shrill a debate as the one over The Kashmir Files and again demonstrated that the freedom of speech argument can cut both ways, testing the capacity of partisans to accept differing points of view. If in the past films that provoked rightwing ire saw public declarations of going to the theatres in solidarity—the same set is slamming The Kerala Story as propaganda and calumny. Social media and even mainstream media are bubbling over with outrage on the one hand and a sense of vindication on the other.... But The Kerala Story, irrespective of how it is regarded, brings to the fore a much-needed conversation that, despite its rau­cous notes, might bring about a better recognition of schisms and the sources of discord in society.

M[edit]

  • “There was a lot of discussion about The Kerala Story, which discusses ploys to make the country hollow from within. They say the movie is based on the terrorist plots in just one state…such a beautiful state where people are hard working and talented. The Kerala Story has exposed the terror conspiracies. But look at the misfortune of the country. The Congress today is standing with such terror elements that have destroyed the nation. The Congress has a backdoor understanding with them. People of the state should be wary of the Congress…It has surrendered in front of terrorists to appease its vote bank,” Modi said.
  • Despite promising an authentic and unbiased portrayal, the film faces opposition. It demands a ban from some political leaders and journalists who claim that it spreads misinformation and are fearful of angering Muslims. Congress leader and opposition leader in Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan demanded a ban on the movie when its teaser was released in November 2022, calling it a clear case of misinformation.
    • Amy Mek, in [3]

N[edit]

  • “The messages are becoming more intimidating and threatening and when staff were approached personally, we decided enough was enough,” the spokesman said... messages via email and social media are "just on the edge", but are experienced as intimidating. According to him, it was said, among other things, "we wouldn't want any hassle or violence at your doorstep, would we?"...
    After the film was shown in Utrecht, the Utrecht faction of the political party Denk aan asked the college to ensure that no more "hate-mongering and provocative films" are shown in Utrecht cinemas in the future...
    LAB-1 shows Indian films almost every week and wanted to show the film despite all the fuss. "We do this because of the international character of our audience." The cinema says it will now remove the film from its programming for safety reasons. We stand for a cultural diversity in which we are guided by artistic and creative expression. "Art and culture sometimes lead to controversial dilemmas. That is also part of culture and should be a reason for dialogue and discussion. Not for threats and intimidation."

P[edit]

  • “The Producers Guild of India is distressed by, and would like to record its strong objection to, state-enforced bans on ‘The Kerala Story.’ As emphasized by us on several occasions in the past, film releases are regulated by CBFC [Central Board of Film Certification] and any film that complies with this statutory requirement should face no further hurdles in having the paying public decide on its fate,” the Guild said in a statement shared with Variety. “Of course, the audience can choose to watch or ignore any film but that is a choice that should be theirs to make, not one that is imposed on them by any party other than CBFC. We call upon all the relevant authorities to urgently address this all-too-frequent phenomenon of films being denied their right to unfettered, nation-wide exhibition despite having duly complied with regulatory requirements,” the Guild added.

S[edit]

  • What these people don’t realise is that what they are doing is very harmful. In fact, films like Kerala Story and Gadar 2, I haven’t seen them but I know what they are about, it’s disturbing that films like Kashmir Files are so massively popular…
  • I would just like to request both of them to go and see the film, and after seeing the film if they still want to make the same comment that will be their right. In any case, I feel that if I have the right to make a film everybody who doesn't agree with the film has the equal right to criticize it. That right can't be taken away from anybody. In the democratic world that we live in, we shouldn't take dissent or disagreement, or criticism as opposition that needs to be shut down. I think we need to have enough openness within ourselves to say, 'Ok, you see the film and talk to me'. I have happy to sit across the table and discuss various aspects of the film that you may agree or disagree with and that is the sign of a healthy democracy... So, I am perfectly ok with their criticism. I just want them to see the film and then criticise. That's all... This conversation will continue and now this particular subject cannot be brushed under the carpet in this country and this will remain in our nation's consciousness. So, in that sense, the film has done pretty well and from the creative point of view and as well from a point of a producer, it's been an extremely satisfying journey.
  • Producer Vipul Shah said that the movie is about three women but presents the story of thousands of women. "There were a lot of talks when we mentioned about 32,000 victims. There are 26 victims here and one of them said that their institution has 7,000 such victims. Our film tells the story of three women. The story of three women is presenting the story of thousands of women. There were attempts to malign the film. The fight of these women should not be weakened and there should be no justice with them," he said. He added, "This is the time we need to talk about what's really happening with these girls, they should be our priority. Today we are very happy that the nation is talking about this subject."
  • At certain points, the film feels more like a tutorial of radicalization than entertainment for the audience. It also goes to extremes to make its point, and that could be quite unsettling for audiences belonging to various communities in our country. After watching ‘The Kerala Story,’ you may be left with several questions about the current state of the country. This thought-provoking film is disturbing and surely manages to leave an impact.
    • Review , Times of India, Abhishek Srivastava, TNN, May 5, 2023, Review

Interview with film director Sudipto Sen[edit]

Sudipto Sen director of 'The Kerala Story': The same people who were criticising us have watched the film and are praising us
  • It has indeed been an arduous battle to take the film to the theatres. Finding funds for The Kerala Story was difficult. But once Vipul Shahji took it over the journey was pretty smooth and I didn't find any kind of difficulties in the release of the film. During the process, the only difficult parts were shooting permissions and extreme weather.
  • I have enough research material with me. Hundreds of hours of video testimonies, hundreds of pages of documents. Again it was not difficult to zero in on the story. In 2018 I had shot a documentary on the same subject and that got the Best Film Award in London International Film Festival. The Kerala Story started taking shape from there.
  • I started working on the subject much before The Kashmir Files. And, I don't find any reason of bringing The Kashmir Files up when you talk about my film. The comparison is just stupidity. You agree or disagree with it, but The Kashmir Files has shaken the minds of India and shown the power of cinema. My film belongs to a different genre... it has a completely different narrative.
  • Seven years, hundreds of hours of video testimony and hundreds of pages of documents and information collected from all over the world. That speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
  • It should be. That's what is cinema is all about. Most of our seniors didn’t do justice to cinema and the country. They thought that the crores of poor, exploited, denied have-nots are stupids so they sold them cheap dreams, cheap romance, cheap violence, cheap ideas. The role of cinema is to awaken the generations through entertainment and help to build nation. Indian cinema must celebrate India. We filmmakers must celebrate our thousands of years old Indian history and ethos.

V[edit]

  • In the midst of all this, renowned filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has come out in support of The Kerala Story while criticising Bollywood for its “death-like silence on the shattering success of the film.” RGV also said the film will haunt Bollywood like a “mysterious fog in every story discussion room and corporate house.” “We are so comfortable in telling lies to both others and ourselves that when someone goes ahead and shows the truth we get SHOCKED… That explains the DEATH like SILENCE of BOLLYWOOD on the SHATTERING SUCCESS of #KeralaStory,” the filmmaker said in the first tweet of a series. “The #KeralaStory is like a BEAUTIFUL GHOSTLY MIRROR showing the DEAD face of Main stream BOLLYWOOD to itself in all its UGLINESS.”
  • Surrounded by controversies for several reasons, ‘The Kerala Story’ has managed to pull audiences to the theatres. The film is also being opposed and has been banned in some states due to appeasement. Setting aside all the controversies, I have a question — Do Vipul Shah and Sudipto Sen have ‘freedom of expression’ or not?

W[edit]

  • Protesters like Shakeel Afsar should be campaigning against Islamist extremism, not against films highlighting the crimes committed in its name. The Kerala Story is a powerful film with a powerful message. Those who want to watch it must be free to do so.
    • Wasiq, Spiked, [7]
  • The whole world should see his movie, which may NOT be censored but should be promoted!

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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