"No Bed of Roses", a film said to be loosely based on late Bangladeshi writer and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed, starring and co-produced by Indian actor Irrfan Khan, has been banned in Bangladesh. The filmmaker says the action is against freedom of expression, while Irrfan hopes the ban is lifted soon.
"I'm surprised with this decision. It is a story of emotions between a man and woman. How can it cause any harm to the society? I hope that the ban is lifted and the audiences can see the film soon," Irrfan said in a statement issued here on Saturday.
The actor is acclaimed for his work in Indian films like "The Lunchbox", "Paan Singh Tomar" and "Piku" and known in Hollywood for being a part of movies like "Jurassic World" and "Inferno". He plays the lead role in "No Bed of Roses", a co-production between Bangladesh's Jaaz Multimedia and India's Eskay Movies with Irrfan's IK Company as co-producer.
Helmed by Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, the movie is said to be about Ahmed, who divorced his wife of 27 years and married an actress 33 years his junior. But the filmmaker has denied that it's a biopic.
According to variety.com, the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation's (BFDC) Joint Venture Preview Committee approved the script of the movie on March 8, 2016, after which the film went into production. The completed film was previewed for the BFDC on February 12, 2017 and received a No Objection Certificate on February 15.
But just a day later, the BFDC sent the production a letter stating that the certificate had been cancelled due to a letter from the Bangladesh Information Ministry.
Farooki, who is known in Bangladeshi cinema for works like "Television" and "Ant Story", is now taking the matter to court.
"We have been blocked at the first gate," said Farooki.
"As the order does not explain any reason, I don't know why they thought screening of the film would be inappropriate. Yes, my film handles a so-called taboo subject but it doesn't show anything explicit and hence doesn't violate any censor code. This goes against the freedom of expression," he added.
The variety.com report claims they have had access to the film and it starts with a disclaimer that the film has no resemblance to any real life characters alive or dead.
BFDC Managing Director Tapan Kumar Ghosh told variety.com that it is not the BFDC's prerogative to issue the certificate and it was up to the Bangladesh Film Censor Board to issue it.
However, Variety claims having copies of all the letters issued to the production from the BFDC and they are all on the organization's official letterhead. In reality, international co-productions cannot approach the Censor Board without the BFDC certificate.
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