'The Kerala Story'

New Delhi:

As her film ‘The Kerala Story’ lands in controversy and is banned in several parts in the country, actress Adah Sharma, who plays a lead in the Sudipto Sen directorial, said that freedom of expression should be celebrated.

She insisting on watching the film before commenting on it.

On 8 May, the Government of West Bengal banned the movie allegedly to prevent any incident related to communal hatred and violence. The film was also stopped from screening in Tamil Nadu by the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association as “a precautionary measure.”

The Supreme Court on Friday had issued a notice to the West Bengal government seeking the reason behind the ban on ‘The Kerala Story’ in the state. The Supreme Court also asked the Tamil Nadu government to specify all the measures taken to provide security in theatres screening the film.

Talking about the same, Adah in a conversation with IANS said: “I am not the authority but in my opinion we should celebrate freedom of expression and watch the movie and then everyone has a choice to decide if they want to comment positively or negatively about it.”

In the film, Adah plays the role of Fathima Ba, a Malayali Hindu nursing student, who goes missing from Kerala and is recruited to the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) after being lured to convert to Islam.

She added: “We should also honour the censor board who passed the film and the supreme court. Those who want to ban the film, if they watch it they might realise the film speaks against terrorism and they might decide to increase the screenings and show the film to more young girls.”

Cinema is a reflection of society; how does Adah feel politics mixing with it?

“We live in a democratic country, thankfully. Where there is freedom of speech and expression. Unlike the place where the character I play was taken to in the film. I’m very grateful I love it here in India.”

She pointed out to the “anti-terrorism” aspect of her film.

“It is humanity vs terrorism. It’s about being cheated in love. About why you shouldn’t rape someone. So any person from any place in the world supporting this film I think is a great thing!”

Adah has to say to those who don’t believe that something like this happened and forced conversations are not real: “They should Google two words ISIS brides and get an account of girls worldwide who have gone through this. Terrorism is a global issue.”

She added: “We haven’t had people who have watched the film and said these things don’t happen because our film even has testimonials of parents and victims. So maybe those who say terrorism doesn’t exist can watch our film and they might change their mind.”

‘The Kerala Story’ has been written and directed by Sudipto Sen and stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani and Sonia Balani.

It got into controversy after the trailer of the film stated that 32,000 girls from the state went missing and later joined the terrorist group, ISIS.