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West Bengal: Film on capital punishment withdrawn from theatre

June 21, 2005 17:05 IST

A film, which questions the West Bengal government's stand on the hanging of rape and murder convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee, has been withdrawn from a state-run theatre with its director alleging that this was done at the behest of the chief minister.

The critically-acclaimed film, One Day from a Hangman's Life, directed by four-time national award winner Joshy Joseph had been running at the Nandan theatre since June 18 and was scheduled for screening till June 24.

Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee -- an avid filmgoer who frequents Nandan -- on his visit to the theatre on Monday saw the posters of the film and is reported to have taken exception to them as they questioned his government's stand on the issue.

Later, Joseph and producer Drik India were reportedly summoned by Nandan authorities and told that the film, which had already been screened six times, was being withdrawn due to 'under sales'.

Joseph, however, said he did not buy the argument since the cinema hall had nothing to do with sales and was only a platform to promote alternate cinema.

"We got a chance for freedom of expression for four days since the chief minister was away. We thought the government was open to a debate on capital punishment, but now it appears we were wrong," Joseph said.

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