Actor Anupam Kher is blown away by the story of The Kashmir Files (2022) is taking off worldwide as the film has a shot at an Oscar nomination after being considered. In fact, he feels it is an answer to all those who question the authenticity of the subject.
“It is a shortlist, not a nomination. But the journey of a thousand miles is made by taking the first step. It’s a great feeling. The film is not just cinema, a story of all those people who suffered from the genocide. It was a very personal subject for me and became more personal after some people questioned the intent of the filmmaker and the people involved,” says Kher.
The 67-year-old adds: “I’m just so excited to be shortlisted. It’s the start of a big dream. I am from a small town, came to Bombay and now have to be shortlisted to perform a film.. It is a sense of humility”.
In fact, the actor feels that the Academy’s focus on the film is also a nod to the “glory of Indian cinema”, adding: “We not only represent the people who were thrown from their homes in Kashmir, but also the 1.4 billion people”.
Together with The Kashmir Filesother movies including RRR, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Kantara and Chhello Show (final movie show) have been named in the list of 301 films eligible for the Oscar nominations. Kher says, “I will wish and pray that it gets nominated, but I am equally happy and proud of the other four shortlisted films. Ultimately, it is Indian cinema that stands on the world stage.”
Also with Mithun Chakraborty, Darshan Kumar and Pallavi Joshi, The Kashmir Files opened a chapter on the exodus and murder of Kashmir Pandits in 1990 on screen. Although the film worked at the box office, many critics called it “propaganda” and misappropriation of facts.
Now Kher feels being shortlisted is an answer to the story’s authenticity.
“For the past 32 years, people have kept it under the carpet. When the story arrived everyone was more or less trying to say ‘this didn’t happen’. When the film was accepted by the people, certain people and certain elements tried to derail that realness of the film. It’s also a slap in the face. Because I believe the truth will prevail in the end,” he says while sharing, “I’m glad this happened.”
Kher talks about his thoughts and mentions, “It was not an ordinary movie, which became successful artistically and commercially. It has seen so many ups and downs. Although it had a lot of success, people still called it a propaganda movie or agenda movie. It’s an answer to them, not that we have to give them an answer. But it is the world that has given them the answer”.
The actor plans to sit down with director Vivek Agnihotri and discuss the upcoming plan. “We will see how we approach it and how we can work on it. People are always biased towards your own child. So I will want The Kashmir Files to be nominated, but I will be really happy and proud if any of the shortlisted Indian films make the cut,” concludes Kher, who also appeared in Uunchai and Karthikeya 2 last year.