New Delhi: Israel’s ambassador to India Naor Gilon has voiced concern over the “trivialisation” of the Holocaust in Hindi movie ‘Bawaal’ released on Prime Video, saying it had “poor choice of terminology and symbolism”.
The Varun Dhawan-starrer has stirred up a controversy for using the Holocaust to tell a story of marital discord with a prominent Jewish group slamming the movie earlier in the week and calling for its removal from the OTT platform.
The Israeli embassy in India issued a statement saying it was “disturbed by the trivialisation of the significance of the Holocaust” in the movie directed by Nitesh Tiwari of “Dangal” fame.
'Poor choice of terminology and symbolism'
“I did not and will not watch the film ‘Bawaal’ but from what I have read, there was a poor choice of terminology and symbolism. Trivialisation of the Holocaust should disturb all,” Gilon wrote on Twitter. “I urge those who don't know enough about the horrors of the Holocaust to educate themselves about it,” he said.
‘Bawaal’ follows a high school history teacher Ajay Dixit (Dhawan) and his wife Nisha (Jahnvi Kapoor) as they go on a Europe tour where they visit prominent World War 2 sites, including Auschwitz and Anne Frank's home in Amsterdam.
The film, which was released on Prime Video on July 21, tracks how the couple resolve their differences, going into graphic recall of the Holocaust in several scenes. The Israeli embassy noted that there was a “poor choice” in the utilisation of some terminology in the movie and said though “we assume no malice was intended, we urge everyone who may not be fully aware of the horrors of the Holocaust to educate themselves about it”.
Lessons from the Holocaust
“Our embassy is constantly working to propagate educational materials on this crucial subject and we are open to engaging in conversations with all individuals to foster a better understanding of the universal lessons derived from the Holocaust,” the Israeli embassy said.
On Tuesday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, released a statement, criticising the film for “outlandish abuse of the Nazi Holocaust as a plot device”.
Prime Video and Tiwari did not respond to requests for comment, according to a report.