515 village leaders attended two free screenings at the Big Bazaar cinema hall in Mathura. Mathura’s District Magistrate Arvind Malappa Bangari, CDO Yashu Rastogi, and sanitation department personnel also attended the event.
Shot on location in Nandgaon and Barsana, the film garnered harsh criticism from locals during filming for allegedly showing the marriage between a girl from Barsana and a boy from Nandgaon – an alliance which is forbidden in traditional Braj culture. One holy man even called for the director’s tongue to be cut out.
Indeed, the film’s music video “Gori Tu Lath Maar” seems to have missed the point of Lathmar Holi, which is a Nandgaon-versus-Barsana affair with a fraternal mood, and is strictly not played between a husband and wife.
[This appears to be an odd case of cultural appropriation, however, not having seen the film in its entirety, VT Staff temporarily reserves its judgement.]
Since the screening, no further reports of complaints have surfaced in the district. It seems the panchayat chiefs focused solely on the Swacch Bharat message and were happy to see their beloved homeland on the big screen.
Toilet: A Love Story (Hindi: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha) is based on the true story of a Madhya Pradesh newlywed who left her husband’s home in protest when she learned the house had no toilet. The woman was later awarded $10,000 by Sulabh International for her bold decision in favor of public health.
The film, which stars Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar, hopes to influence viewers to take up the Swacch Bharat banner and help end open defecation in India.
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