THEY CAN TRY, BUT FISH CAN'T FLY | Daily News

THEY CAN TRY, BUT FISH CAN'T FLY

No 'convention' for Embassy movie free for all:
Indian High Comm. got movies passed:
Thousands including War Heroes staged a massive protest opposite the French Embassy on Wednesday, over the screening of the film Flying Fish, at a film festival at the BMICH. Picture by Rukmal Gamage

Despite attempts by various lobbyists to justify the showing of Igilena Maluwo (Flying Fish), at the French Film Festival, any justification for screening the movie is becoming more untenable by the minute. Our perusal of the position taken by those who are lobbing on behalf of the banned movie Igilena Maluwo confirms that there is no 'immunity' whatsoever that enables foreign embassies to show any movie that they please.

Though apologists for the wildly subversive movie seeking to malign the armed forces say that there is such a 'convention' that enables foreign embassies to show any movie they want, there isn't any such thing. The Indian High Commission for example confirms that before the Indian film festival they showed all their movies to Censor Board officials, and got them certified for public showing. The French too did likewise; if they had automatic leeway to show anything they wanted as a result of a 'convention; they wouldn't have gone through that process. In the meantime, our sources stated that for instance it would be unthinkable for a holocaust denial movie to be shown at any "embassy festival' in a European capital. Holocaust denial continues to be a jailable offence in many countries. They ask how such a stiff criteria is adopted post war in the West to consolidate war gains, when in Sri Lanka, apologists say free expression warrants the showing of anything that maligns the armed forces in the name of 'art.'

Can a movie encouraging pedophilia be screened at a film festival in the West, by a foreign embassy, they ask? Our sources also say that any such convention even if it exists is a cultural construct of the West.

In Eastern countries it would be unthinkable for instance to show a film maligning the prophet -- say in a Muslim country such as Bangladesh or Pakistan or Indonesia. Cultural criteria differ, and a one size fits all 'morality' regarding film censorship just wouldn't to hold, say art critiques.

These views are also endorsed by the Chairman of the national film corporation, Mr. Asoka Serasinghe.