Tamil filmmaker Leena Manimekalai ticks off Bollywood films

Jamshedpur: A Tamil off-beat film-maker has criticised two recent Hindi films `Madras Cafe` and `Chennai Express` for what she says wrong portrayal of Tamil issues and said they were not based on adequate research.

Leena Manimekalai, a poet and an actor besides being a film-maker, said during the ongoing Jamshedpur film festival that the two films presented a distorted picture of Tamil sensibility towards discrimination faced by Sri Lankan Tamils.

"I am sorry to say that the Hindi movies being produced from Mumbai on issues related to Tamil Nadu are politically wrong, cruel and even insulting to Tamil population," the director, who has nine documentaries to her credit and has published three anthologies of poems.

One of Manimekalai`s films `The Dead Sea` has been shown in the film festival. The film, which was banned by the Censor Board in 2011 and was later allowed to be released, depicted the plight of Tamil fishermen refugees fleeing from a war-ravaged Sri Lanka into India.

She said hundreds of Tamil fishermen were killed since the 1980s by Sri Lankan Navy personnel on the charges of trespassing into their territory while fishing in the deep sea.

She claimed that everybody, including the Tamil Nadu government, had maintained silence as "hundreds of thousands" of fishermen were killed during the turmoil in Sri Lanka.

She said that her film broke this silence on the plight of the fishermen and other refugees.

The Indian Censor Board had banned the film on account of its anti-establishment tenor having the potential to affect the Sri Lanka-India relation and inappropriate language used.