Sunday, August 21, 2011

Panchvati: Cinema Banned in Nepal in Panchayat Period

While undertaking the research on Royal Nepal Film Corporation (RNFC), I came to know about Panchvati. It was co-produced by RNFC and Shova Doctor, an Indian producer in 1987. It was made in Hindi and later, dubbed into Nepali. But Nepali government never showed courage to screen it publicly.

Going through the discourse on this movie in Nepali print media, I concluded that it was not shown due to its content. But if the problem was with content, why it was not noticed while going through the script ? Did RNFC check its script before ? The question came to my mind. And I approached Narayan Dhoj Pant, a staff at RNFC. His answer was that the script was never submitted by Shova Doctor.

Anup Subedi, a film critic informed that yagesh, a journalist from Kantipur has this movie. Yagesh bought it from India. And Martin Chautari, where I am working as a media researcher, screened this movie for the first time in Nepal in 11 Aug 2011. Prakash Syami, who helped in dubbing of the film, was pundit. He argued that this cinema was victim of rivalry between two staffs of RNFC, Teeka Singh and Neer Shah. Singh was interested to screen it, but Shah opposed it and the issue became public. Palace interfered at last, demanding for the movie and the palace never return it.

Though Syami denied it, I think that crux of the problem was the content. Panchvati is a story based on incestuous relation between a person and his brother’s wife. Till 2011, we have never seen a Nepali movie with this kind of theme. It is interesting that it raised the issue of marital rape in 1987, isn’t it ?