With 21 audio mutes and a U/A certificate, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's Malayalam movie "Sexy Durga" will hit the screens as "S Durga". The director, who finds the censorship "crazy", says "you can't censor imaginations".
"Now when I see the name, I feel really crazy because it is a representation of typical mindset," Sasidharan told IANS, adding that "some common abusive words" have been muted
"It is just insignificant words. It was only to show that the characters are raw. The mutes are beeped so people will understand the words are something bad. That's more effective," he said.
The film was in the news last month when it was refused censor exemption to be screened at the upcoming Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry concluded it "may affect the law and order as it hurts the religious sentiments".
But Sasidharan fought for the censors' nod, reserving his right to screen it at the gala as well as release the movie in theatres. He plans to release it in November or December.
"'Sexy Durga' will be released in Indian cinemas as 'S Durga'. S is a letter open for your imagination. Bhakts are specially requested to not imagine it as 'Sexy' as they will be cursed by Durga. Be nice and come and watch the film," Sasidharan posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
"Art has a different language. It's alphabets are different from yours! It's vocabulary is different from yours! Its Durga is different from yours! It is altogether sexy! You can't censor imagination," added the Thiruvananthapuram-based independent filmmaker.
The movie, starring Rajshri Deshpande and Kannan Nayar, is described as a film about how "obsessiveness and worship can quickly degenerate in a patriarchal society into a mentality of oppression and abuse of power".
It became the first Indian film in 23 years to win laurels since the Tiger Awards were introduced at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).
When it was refused a censor exemption in India, Sasidharan was upset and angry to the extent of calling India "a land that's becoming like Iran". He is still upset.
"We feel ashamed and agitated when we talk about sex or using the word sexy. But we are perfectly okay to imagine it in our darkest corners of mind. That's why we rape and we don't like love openly. We need darkness to talk about our real self. This is typical Indian mindset," he told IANS over social media.
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