The movie was an Indo-Canadian production directed by the ever-challenging Deepa Mehta. With a script exploring the lives of widows in a Vanarasi ashram, screenwriter Anurag Kashyap provoked a great deal of controversy in India. To the extent that filming had to be moved to Sri Lanka. The film is also the third and final instalment of Mehta’s Elements trilogy. It was preceded by Fire (1996) and Earth (1998).
Violence, drug abuse and hard language were not appreciated by the CBFC and hence the film objected. The film never got a theatrical or home-video release. The Central Board of Film Certification objected to the film’s violence, the depiction of drug abuse and bad language. After some cuts, the film was cleared in 2001. However, it could not be released as the producer faced some problems. The film was later released in several film festivals.
A Bengali film directed by Vimukthi Jayasundara was principally shot in Kolkata. The movie dealing with displacement due to construction projects, however, ruffled some important feathers because of its scene depicting full frontal nudity. Later it was screened at several film festivals worldwide, including the Directors’ Fortnight in the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
4. Lipstick under My Burkha
Lipstick Under My Burkha was a phenomenon whose ban was the secret behind its eventual success. The film premiered at the Tokyo and Mumbai Film Festivals, where it won the Spirit of Asia Prize and the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality. The film turned out to be both a critical and commercial hit at the box office.
This film is inspired by the true story of a ten-year-old Parsi boy, who disappeared after the 28 February 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre during which 69 people were killed and which was one of many events in the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002. The film traces the journey of the Pithawala family while trying to locate their missing son. The film was premiered at 36th India International Film Festival in Goa on 26 November 2005, before being released nationwide on 26 January 2007. The film dealt with an unofficial ban in Gujarat.