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A new film about a new director Maqbool Khan's violent growing-up years in a small town in Rajasthan, is about to give the censor board the heebie-jeebies. And though the producer Anubhav Sinha suspects trouble ahead, the film's graphic language and strong violent content got an unexpected boost from French quarters.
Says Anubhav, "Francis d'Silva who works closely with Luc Besson took a shine to the film Kabootar. He was instrumental in getting Kabootar into the Osian film festival. The film is being screened there on 17 July."
Anubhav hopes the unexpunged screening would invoke enough appreciation to give the film a censorial head start. "Otherwise it might be ruthlessly chopped off." Kabootar directed by Anubhav Sinha's former assistant Maqbool Khan is arguably the most violent Hindi film ever made.
Set in Dholpur in Rajasthan, it depicts the criminalization of teenagers in North India. 13 and 14-year old boys are shown as savage murderers and criminals. Says a source, "In Kabootar, the director Maqbool has made Vishal Bhardwaj's depiction of crime and atonement in Maqbool look like a fairytale."
Says Sinha, "Kabootar is undoubtedly a blood-splattered film. But it's hugely emotional and intense. I'd place it in the same genre as Fernando Meirelles' City Of God about lost wayward kids….It's violent, intense and very brutal. But it's in the nature of things. That's what the theme demanded. It's the director Maqbool and his group of friends' story. All of them are dead now. Only Maqbool has survived to tell the tale. It's been selected in the competition section of the Osian Film Festival on the 17 July."
The film gets its title from the game of kabatubaazi (pigeon fights). The main character is a kabutarbaaz who fosters and cultivates teenagers into a life of political and social crimes.
The film's explicit dialogues and aggressive violence are bound to create immense censorial difficulties. Admits Anubhav, "It does have a lot of graphic language and that too involving kids. The censors are bound to be on their guard. But we must understand that the violence and strong language are determined by the subject. The Osian directorate has no problems with the strong content. But I'm getting ready for a long battle with the censors ahead. "