With a Supreme Court order on Friday bringing the banned Bengali film, Bhobishyoter Bhoot, to theaters for screening, the film’s team and cinephiles are celebrating the notice as victory for democracy in the country. The SC on Friday ordered the West Bengal government to ensure Anik Dutta’s film was screened without any disruptions.
The notice also said once the Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC) had certified a film, no one could block the way of its public exhibition.
Earlier on Friday, Justice Debangshu Basak of the Calcutta High Court had asked if the rights of cinema lovers to watch a film can be hampered, when hearing a petition seeking directions to allow the film to be screened in the city.
The judgment came as a blessing not just for the film’s crew but also for a large number of cinema lovers who had extended their support and protested against the films’ removal from the cinema halls of Kolkata last month. A large number of people including veteran theaters artists and eminent film personalities like Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Jayant Kripalani had expressed displeasure after the movie was pulled out from cinemas a day after its release on 15th February.
Welcoming the SC notice, actor Soumitra Chatterjee said, “We had been demanding to exhibit the movie in cinema halls. I am very happy that the Supreme Court has ordered to screen the movie.”
The producer of the film, Kalyanmoy Chatterjee, said the directive to the state to extend full support to the screening of the film is not a personal victory but a victory of democracy. Anik Datta, director of the film made a similar assertion-” This is basically a vindication more than victory. I had expected this, if thus had not come, we would have been surprised.”
Indira Unninayar, who is co-producer of the film, said, ” We had reposed great hope in the Supreme Court to uphold the rule of law. For where else does one go if the government machinery in the state is against you?”
Similar joy was expressed by the cine buffs in the city. Jayraj, a film enthusiast, who had earlier protested when the film was pulled down said, ” This is a victory of not only the film crew but also a proof that democracy still exists in India. However, it is unfortunate that for a simple thing like watching a film of our own choice, the matter had to be taken up to the apex court of the country.”
Some took to social media to congratulate the film’s team and celebrate its release.
Congratulations to team #AnikDutta for securing permission to screen #BhobishyoterBhoot with immediate effect from the supreme court. Tight slap to those ‘Higher Authorities’ who opposed. Also shame on @mimichakraborty @nusratchirps @prosenjitbumba. Cc @tathagata2 @KanchanGupta
— Abhishek Mukherjee (@abmukherjee) March 15, 2019
— Shankha Mukherjee (@mshankha) March 16, 2019
Heartening that the Hon’ble Supreme Court orders the screening of the Anik Dutta film #BhobishyoterBhoot not to be stopped. Ever since it was pulled out of theatres allegedly on “orders from higher authorities”, several distinguished film personalities have voiced their concern.
— Sowmen Mitter | সৌমেন মিটার (@SowmenMitter) March 15, 2019
The film has Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Moon Moon Sen, Kaushik Sen and, veterans Barun Chanda and Paran Bandyopadhyay in leading roles.