Black Flag to Red Carpet reception for Vivek Agnihotri at JNU
Like for a cricketer, greatness is not achieved without winning at Lords similarly for me it’s very important to get the approval of the students. And JNU is the barometer for political films
New Delhi, 23rd April :-Vivek Agnihotri’s latest offering The Tashkent Files was screened to a packed house followed by a question and answer session that lasted over an hour, with students asking for more. The filmmaker was taken by surprise at the warm reception at JNU as his last film Buddha in a Traffic Jam was banned at JNU and protesters rallied with black flags.
Over 500 students attended the screening, a number that JNU recalls as at par with the time that erstwhile President of India, Shri APJ Abdul Kalam ji came down to address. Over 50 faculty members were also present at the screening.
Talking about the screening, Vivek Agnihotri stated, “To begin with, I was surprised that JNU opened up to the idea of this screening. The students attending had mixed political ideologies yet the film received thunderous claps and a standing ovation. Some of them came upto me and said that it is a ‘masterpiece’, an ‘eye opener’, ‘best film of recent times’, ‘excellent movie with historical relevance that is very much needed for today’s India.’ As a maker what more can I ask for? Though all the leftist organizations opposed this movie and many leftist students came but they left agreeing with the theme of #RightToTruth”
Agnihotri’s tryst with JNU has been an ongoing one. Speaking of which the elated filmmaker stated, “My first film was banned in JNU and as my dissent I screened it in open. That time there were groups protesting with black flags. It’s a matter of great satisfaction that this time even same leftist students came and went back satisfied as they also realized that the theme of the film #RightToTruth is apolitical and is the need of the hour, irrespective of whether you are on the Left or the Right. Like for a cricketer, greatness is not achieved without winning at Lords similarly for me it’s very important to get the approval of the students. And JNU is the barometer for political films. I have never heard so many claps in any other film. I am glad we passed the test”.
By V Narsigh Rao