Who is Nadav Lapid whose remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’ sparked controversy?  

Who is Nadav Lapid whose remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’ sparked controversy?
Who is Nadav Lapid whose remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’ sparked controversy?

The Kashmir Files is yet again in the news after Israeli director Nadav Lapid slammed the movie during his closing speech at the International Film Festival of India in Goa. As the jury head, while giving a speech, Nadav questioned the screening of The Kashmir Files in the competition and called it ‘disturbing and vulgar.’

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What Happened?

He said, “The jury was disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, ‘The Kashmir Files’, that felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.”

Who Is Nadav Lapid?

Nadav Lapid, born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, 1975, studied philosophy at Tel-Aviv University, and Literature in Paris. In 2001, Nadav published a novel entitled “Continua Bailando”, and worked as a cinematographer on several documentaries in Israel. He graduated in 2006 from the Sam Spiegel Film School, Jerusalem. He received a Special Jury Prize for his debut feature film, Policeman, at the 2011 Locarno International Film Festival.

In 2019, he received the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Synonyms. Another film by Nadav which had its world premiere in the Critics Week section of Cannes Feature Festival in 2014 is The Kindergarten Teacher. In 2016, he served as a jury member for the Critics Week segment at the Cannes Film Festival.

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In 2021, he sent his film, Ahed’s Knee, for the competition at Cannes Film Festival. He is currently working on a new project. The movie reportedly focuses on Ahed Tamini, a Palestinian teenager who slapped an Israeli soldier and was sentenced to prison in 2017.

Nadav has an old connection with the IFFI as his 2014 film “The Kindergarten Teacher”’s actor Sarit Larry was awarded the Best Actor Award (Female) at the festival. In 2016, Lapid was chosen as a member of the International Critics’ Week’s jury.

The 47-year-old Israeli filmmaker is known for his love-hate relationship with his homeland, which played out in his competition entry, Ahed’s Knee, at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

Lapid was also among a group of 250 Israeli filmmakers that signed an open letter to protest against the launch of the Shomron (Samaria/West Bank) Film Fund. The filmmakers felt that the fund had just one goal: Inviting Israeli filmmakers to “actively participate in whitewashing the Occupation in exchange for financial support and prizes.” The Shomron Film Fund’s official mandate is to “distribute grants to Jewish settlers who reside in the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria”) and to productions by Israeli citizens filmed in the West Bank.”

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While talking about his film ‘Synonymes’ in one of his interviews, Lapid had said that “the Israeli collective soul is a sick soul”. “Something in the deepest essence of the Israeli existence is false – is rotten. It’s not just Benjamin Netanyahu – it’s not special to Israel. But, at the same time, I think this Israeli sickness or nature is characterized by young Israeli men muscular, smiling, who don’t raise any questions and don’t have any doubts. They are extremely proud of being Israeli. They have a totally dichotomist vision of existence: Us versus all the others,” he said in an interview published in Toronto-based NOW magazine.

His Filmography as a director includes The Star (Short), Ahed’s Knee, Synonyms, From the Diary of a Wedding Photographer (Short), Why? (Short), Love Letter to Cinema, The Kindergarten Teacher, Footsteps in Jerusalem (Documentary), Policeman, Gaza Sderot: Life in Spite of Everything (Documentary), Emile’s Girlfriend, Road (Short), Border Project (Documentary short).

About The Kashmir Files

For those unaware, The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, starred Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Pallavi Joshi in lead roles. The film earned Rs. 340 crores at the box office.


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