Updated: May 8, 2023

Vivek Agnihotri warns Kerala Story team of potential backlash

Vivek Agnihotri has issued a warning to the team behind The Kerala Story, including Vipul Shah, Sudipto Sen, and Adah Sharma, stating in a tweet that their lives would be drastically altered.

kerala Story

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri

After the release of The Kerala Story, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri shared a piece of 'bad news' with the movie's team via Twitter. In a lengthy message posted on Saturday, Vivek directed his warning towards the film's producer, Vipul Shah, director Sudipto Sen, and actor Adah Sharma, cautioning them that their lives would never be the same again. He went on to predict that they would face an overwhelming wave of hatred, suffocation, confusion, and demoralization.

"CINEMA AND INDIC RENNIASANCE: THE KERALA STORY," Vivek tweeted. "I grew up listening to great filmmakers and cinema critics that the only purpose of art is to provoke people into questioning their own beliefs and biases. I also grew up listening that cinema reflects the reality of a society. I was told that cinema must destroy old Gods and create new Gods.”

Additionally, he expressed his belief that cinema possesses the ability to accomplish what media and politics cannot in today's world. It can bring to light uncomfortable truths, rectify historical inaccuracies, engage in cultural battles, and also act as a nation's soft power for greater purposes.

In India, however, he acknowledged that creating such cinema is no simple task. He cited his own experiences with films such as Buddha in a Traffic Jam, The Tashkent Files, and The Kashmir Files, stating that he has faced physical, professional, social, and psychological attacks while making them.

"Even my forthcoming film The Vaccine War, a positive film, celebrating India’s greatest achievement, is constantly being attacked. Mostly by the same people who taught me all the above. When it releases, later this year, I can guarantee they will attack it with a new design because they don’t want India to succeed. Because Truth must not be told. Bharat must not be celebrated," the filmmaker continued.

Vivek went on to discuss "enemies of truth," justice, and Dharma. "Dear Vipul Shah and @sudiptoSENtlm, @adah_sharma, and the entire team of #TheKeralaStory, first and foremost, let me congratulate you on your brave effort. At the same time, I'd want to inform you that your lives will never be the same again. You will be met with unimaginable hatred. You will feel suffocated. You may become confused and demoralised at times. However, keep in mind that God tests the shoulders on which he put the responsibility of becoming change agents," he tweeted.

If cinema is a medium for you to follow your Dharma, never stop. Allow the community of Indian storytellers to expand. Assist emerging, skilled Indian storytellers. Allow the Indic Renaissance to serve as the guiding light for a New Bharat. And whenever you feel like no one is listening, remember Gurudev's words: Ekla Chalo Re (Go Forward Alone). Best. Always. "With love, VRA," he said at the end of his post.

Sudipto Sen is the writer and director of The Kerala Story, featuring Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani, and Sonia Balani in lead roles. Controversy arose when the film's trailer suggested that 32,000 girls from Kerala had gone missing and subsequently joined ISIS. On Friday, the Kerala High Court observed that the film's producers had included a disclaimer indicating that the movie is a fictionalized and dramatized account of events and that it does not claim accuracy or factual basis for historical occurrences.

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