Unfreedom, directed by Raj Amit Kumar, had stirred up a controversy in 2015 when the Central Board of Film Certification headed by its erstwhile chief Pahlaj Nihalani, had refused to certify the film. The film’s uncensored version is now available on Netflix India.
Starring Adil Hussain and Victor Banerjee, the film is a contemporary thriller based in a society torn apart by political, religious and sexual turmoil. Alternating between New York and New Delhi, the film combines two different stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance.
One story follows a Muslim terrorist Husain (Bhanu Uday), attempting to silence a liberal Muslim scholar Fareed (Victor Banerjee). The other story is about a young woman Leela (Preeti Gupta), who defies her devout father Devraj (Adil Hussain) and escapes an arranged marriage because she is secretly involved in a taboo lesbian romance with Sakhi (Bhavani Lee).
Unfreedom marks director Raj Amit Kumar’s feature film debut. He has produced the film under the banner of Dark Frames. The film’s technical team comprises Oscar-winner Resul Pookutty, award winning cinematographer Hari Nair (of Shutter, Kerala Café fame) and editor Atanu Mukherjee, who debuted as a director with the acclaimed film, Rukh last year.
In a press release, Kumar expressed his feelings about the CBFC’s decision to ban films it doesn’t approve of.
“I am glad that Unfreedom finds such a popular platform like Netflix after the ban in India and the efforts of censorship guardians in India to stop the film. It also exposes the hypocrisy and divide between reality and fantasy of censorship system in India. There is no way they can control and censor content in digital age, yet, they try their best to choke filmmakers like me who have something relevant to say that makes them feel threatened,” he said.
Watch the trailer here: