Kuwait Bans Neerja

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone but Kuwait has banned Neerja.

If I wasn’t surrounded by a group of people right now, I’d be balling hard. The reasons why Kuwait bans a film is sometimes very obvious (case in point: The Danish Girl) and sometimes the reason can be a bit more illusive such as in the case of Bajirao Mastani.

In Neerja’s case though, the film was most likely banned for two main reasons:

1) Most people in Kuwait are very sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are not terrorists and have been suffering from oppression for seventy plus years.
2) The film reinforces negative stereotypes of Muslims at a time when Muslimphobia is at an all-time high.

I understand. I just wish I could see the film, I heard nothing but glowing reviews about the direction of the film, Sonam Kapoor’s performance (girl can act) and most importantly Shabana Azmi. Shabana is once again gracing us mere mortals with her presence and apparently her performance in the film has wrenched the insides of everyone whose seen the film.

All hail the queen.

There’s another reason why I wanted to see the film- Jim Sarbh is in it. Jim Sarbh is an up-n-coming actor whose theater troupe came to Kuwait last year to perform a fucking brilliant interpretation of Tennesse Williams’ classic play, The Glass Menagerie. Everyone in the cast brought their A-game to the table but Jim Sarbh was something else. I left the theater hall with that same elated feeling I always get after watching a good play.

Seeing as I come from a Palestinian family, when I saw him in the trailer for Neerja playing a Palestinian terrorist, I was first of all, shocked beyond belief that it was the same guy I saw on stage in Kuwait a little under a year ago and secondly, kind of excited to see him play a Palestinian in a Bollywood film.

Sadly however, I’ll have to wait patiently for the film to come out on DVD. Life’s a bitch and then you die.


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