At the Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival last week, Mira Nair discussed her new film The Namesake. Peter Herbst, Editor-in-Chief of Premiere, wondered whether the nude scene is “chaste” enough for Indian censors.
She wasn’t very amused by the question; more importantly, she’s not amused that Bollywood films are allowed to be so racy, while non-Bollywood films are not. But I think that’s sort of like comparing Desperate Housewives to… oh, anything else.
I read The Namesake recently, and it’s a beautiful book. And although it’s about all kinds of awakening, sexual and otherwise, I can’t imagine there’d be anything racy or provocative in it, unless the movie takes great poetic license.
But I guess you can’t really blame Herbst for asking: After all, Indian censors — not to mention Indian audiences — are rather vocal sometimes. Remember the violent responses to Deepa Mehta’s films Fire and Water?
On the other hand, maybe you can blame Herbst for asking. I mean, take a sweeping story that travels between New York and Calcutta and among several generations, and ask about the sex scene. Whatever.
For more, check out the BBC article on Mira Nair.