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Friday, 6 September, 2002, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
'Obscene' film flouts India ban
Manisha Koirala
Ms Koirala says shots in the film are obscene

The screening of the Hindi film Ek Chhoti Si Love Story (A Small Love Story) has gone ahead, despite a court order to postpone its release.


I heard about the controversy but I have come to watch the movie because I am a fan of Manisha Koirala

Delhi film-goer
The high court in Maharashtra ruled the film could not be shown after its star, actress Manisha Koirala, alleged that her reputation would be damaged if people saw it.

The actress claimed the film's director, Shashilal Nair, had used a body double in allegedly obscene shots - thereby portraying her in an indecent manner.

She said this amounted to violating her right to privacy and defaming her in public.

Defiant

Despite a police presence there were queues outside cinema halls in Delhi, where the film was screened.
Bal Thakeray
Bal Thakeray: Meeting alleged

It was a similar story in Calcutta, where the theatres were filled to capacity.

But in Bombay, members of the right-wing Hindu Shiv Sena forcibly stopped the screening.

The manager of the Gemini theatre, Manoj Desai, said members of Shiv Sena shouted slogans outside.

Reports say that Ms Koirala had met the Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, and discussed her concern at developments.

'No order'

A member of the Eastern Indian Motion Pictures Association told the BBC they had had a very good response on the first day.

He said theatre owners had never received any order from the police or the distributor to stop the film being shown.

Ms Koirala said had she not taken court action, other actresses would have felt that they could be used in any way a director wanted.

But director Shashilal Nair said he had shown the shots to Ms Koirala before submitting the film to the board of censors.

'Consent'

He said the body double had been used with Ms Koirala's consent.

According to reports, Mr Nair said he used a body double because Ms Koirala had gained weight - an allegation the actress denies.

Mr Nair said after Thursday's ruling that 97 prints of the film had already been despatched all over the world for screening.

He said he had told the court that it was not possible for him to take back the prints of the film.

See also:

05 Sep 02 | South Asia
17 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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