After a long stretch of controversy, Malayalam film S Durga finally gets a green signal from the censor board without any cuts. The CBFC has handed over a U/A certificate to the film along with a nod from the revising committee of the CBFC. The film’s director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan said that he is happy with the decision and added, “They did not find anything wrong with the film. It is clear now that all that happened was done on purpose.”
S Durga had been engulfed with controversies after it was dropped at International Film Festival last year in Goa. The director, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, had approached the Kerala High Court and managed to get a favourable decision from the court. He has been fighting hard for the film’s clearance from the CBFC since November. “‘S… Durga’ represented this country at more than 50 film festivals across the globe and won 10 international awards for India and after all this hungama, our own film festival is treating the film as a hostile film and the filmmaker as an enemy. This is pathetic,” he had said when IFFI jury dropped the film from screening on the eleventh hour.
The film was again in the news last month when it was refused censor exemption at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival since the Information and Broadcasting Ministry claimed that it may affect the law and order situation.
The ‘white rectangular boxes’ that followed the letter ‘S’ in the revised title of the movie created the issue. "The title of the film in the credit roll was shown as 'S Durga', without any 'S ###' i.e. the rectangular white boxes. The title 'S Durga' was the title already certified by the CBFC, Thiruvananthapuram. It is apparent that the version exhibited for the Jury at IFFI, Goa was differing from the version exhibited for the Revising Committee. In the version shown they did not find any tampering with the title or the font of the title or visuals form as suggested by the Examining Committee," the CBFC letter shared by Sasidharan stated.
S Durga, starring Rajshri Deshpande and Kannan Nayar, is a film about how obsessiveness and worship can quickly degenerate in a patriarchal society into a mentality of oppression and abuse of power. The director also shared the new poster of the movie on Twitter. The makers are planning to release the film across the country soon. "We are trying to release it pan-India. Discussions are going on. Hopefully, by end of March or beginning of April, it will release. There are already subtitles. The film is not really dialogue oriented. So, even if it is not dubbed, people will understand it," Sasidharan said.
Marathi film ‘Nude’, which was also dropped from the Panorama segment, recently received 'A' certificate without any cuts from the CBFC.
Recently Malayalam song Manikya Malaraya Poovi, featuring the overnight internet sensation Priya Prakash Varrier faced controversy for allegedly hurting Muslim sentiments. Talking about the same, Sasidharan said, “All these fringe groups are slowly becoming powerful because our government is directly or indirectly supporting them. It always chooses to remain silent. And I think nowadays it has become a fashion that whatever you do someone or the other will get offended by it. So, it’s really important for us to fight for our rights.”