Telling uncomfortable truths gets films banned: Saif Ali Khan on Phantom

24 Aug 2015

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"I don't have faith in Pakistan, generally. Neither do I understand what their thought processes are," Saif has said.
"I don't have faith in Pakistan, generally. Neither do I understand what their thought processes are," Saif has said.

Saif Ali Khan recently aired his frustrations about the controversy that's plaguing his upcoming film Phantom, which revolves around the tragic November 26 Mumbai attacks at the Taj Hotel.

The film was dragged into court last week as Jamaatud Dawa's (JuD) Hafiz Saeed petitioned the Lahore High Court to ban it in Pakistan, saying it posed a threat to his life and was Indian propaganda meant to hurt Pakistan's image.

In an interview with DNAIndia the actor said: "I don't have faith in Pakistan, generally. Neither do I understand what their thought processes are. I have no problems against Pakistan and I won't make a film that's against the country. But now they have banned the film. We have always shared a very complicated relationship. If you tell uncomfortable truths, films gets banned. We keep banning each other's films."

Also read: LHC bans Indian film over Hafiz Saeed's complaint

He went on to assert that even if the film was banned in Pakistan, people would watch it anyway: "The irony is that everybody is going to watch it anyway on pirated DVDs. That's what happens a lot in Pakistan."

Phantom was bound to stir things up, but many were hoping it would go the way of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which, after much back-and-forth, finally made it to theatres in Pakistan and did roaring business. Commenting on this, Saif said: "I think the majority of the population is peace-loving, be it in India or Pakistan. The enormous success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan shows that most people would like a Utopian situation."

In a separate interview with The Times of India, Phantom director Kabir Khan too expressed his frustration about the films fate in Pakistan. "The film is in no way anti-Pakistan," he said. "As a writer-director, it is against my DNA to do something like that and my body of work speaks for what my position internationally has always been. If I was trying to make anti-Pakistan films, there would be no Ek Tha Tiger, no Kabul Express, no New York and mostly no Bajrangi Bhaijaan.