Konkona Sen Sharma on CBFC woes

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Konkona Sen Sharma has has a lot of success recently with her production ‘Death in the Gunj’ (2016) and is set to be seen in another brilliant performance in the upcoming ‘Liptick Under My Burkha’. However being rather controversial, these projects haven’t had the smoothest times when it comes to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Talking to the media, Sharma spoke about some of the issues the CBFC had. “A Death in the Gunj is set in 1979 and we had to mute a joke that referred to Indira Gandhi. The censors also wouldn’t allow the tortoise that some of the characters talk about to be called Kalidas because it’s the name of a respected poet,” The Indian Express reports the actress stating.

She went on to add, “I know that my worldview is not a majoritarian one, that it’s not a popular way of thinking. I’ve been used to that from a young age. I know the films that I want to do are not easy — in the sense that they are not mass-appeal productions. These kind of run-ins are par for the course. Udta Punjab, Haraamkhor, Lipstick Under My Burkha, all these films had to appear in front of a tribunal. I think the CBFC did us a great service, though — so many more people know about this film now.”

Talking about what she thinks could have scared the CBFC, Sharma expressed, “I think it’s the desire of women, especially older women in India. The urban younger woman’s rebellion has still been vaguely accepted. Their existence is judged, but it’s acknowledged. But the sexual desire or the ambition of slightly older women, in their 30s, or those in their 50s, is not allowed. My character, Shireen, is not a shrill feminist. She’s not aware of these terms. She is somebody who says, ‘This is my reality, how can I subvert this? Which battles should I pick?’ ”

“We don’t get to see much of that in our cinema, we don’t get to witness the lives of these women. Those of us who live in Mumbai or Delhi have notions about what women who live in Bhopal, or smaller towns, are like; and that perception is wrong. Some people are scared by how complex and subversive these women’s lives can be,” she added.

Set to release on 21st July in India, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ also stars Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra, and Plabita Borthakur.

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