Goutam Ghose on Shanghai fest screening: Filmmakers are not policymakers

By Arundhuti Banerjee

Mumbai, July 29 (IANS) Art and politics should not be mixed, insists veteran Bengali filmmaker Goutam Ghose, even as his latest film is screened at Shanghai International Film Festival in China.

Ghose’s latest directorial “Raahgir” stars Adil Hussain, Tillotama Shome and Neeraj Kabi, and is based on a short story by Bengali novelist Prafulla Roy. The film has already received good response at Busan International Film Festival, South Korea, and Jio Mami Film Festival in Mumbai for its cinematic aesthetics.

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“In my opinion, art should be treated separately from politics. Filmmakers are not policymakers. We, storytellers, talk of love, compassion, humanity, and world peace. I know there is turmoil between the two countries and that has everything to do with international relations and diplomacy. The administration is working on that, but cinema and art are universal. When an audience watches a film, they do not watch it with hatred. Filmmakers from across the world are participating in the festival with a free mind,” Ghose told IANS.

“Globally, there are many countries with several border issues or other problems. In my opinion, the role of art and artiste is to talk about peace and compassion. Keeping our mind democratic, cinema does that. Cinema unites,” he added.

The film is being screened as part of the India Film Week section at Shanghai on July 27 and July 29.

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Apart from “Raahgir”, Indian films like “Article 15”, “Section 375”, “Pareeksha”, and “Cargo”, besides the animated film “Bombay Rose” and the Indian-Bangladeshi film “Debris Of Despair”, will also be screened at the festival.

Shanghai is the first in-person film festival taking place in China after the global Covid-19 pandemic. Internationally film festivals have either been cancelled, rescheduled, or hosted on virtual media.

Emphasising on world peace and unity, Ghose said: “If we look at history, cinema, over the last 100 years or so is recording the collective memories of people, no matter where you are from. Globally, all filmmakers have been stitching a long garland of memories. We do not want war, we want peace for the global population. So, by telling stories, we artistes are doing our duty.”

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(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected]s.in)

–IANS

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