Nitesh Tiwari’s ‘Bawaal’ accused of trivialising Nazi Holocaust
Bollywood film ‘Bawaal’ – directed by prominent Indian filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari – has been accused of trivialising the deaths of millions of Jews murdered during the Nazi Holocaust by using Auschwitz concentration camp as a metaphor for relationship problems.
The movie tells the story of a history teacher, played by Varun Dhawan, who is embarrassed by his wife’s epilepsy, with Janhvi Kapoor playing the character. But as the troubled couple visit historic second world war sites on their Europe tour, they fall in love with each other.
But Jewish organisations and film critics have raised concerns over the portrayal of the characters’ visits to some of the horrific sites of the Holocaust, which are entwined in their love story. During a scene, one of them says: “Every relationship goes through its Auschwitz.”
Amazon Called To Stop “Monetising” The Genocide
The film was released on July 21. It has been receiving damning reviews from netizens, who accuse it of “normalising Hitler”. In another scene, the male lead could be heard saying: “We’re all a little like Hitler,” in reference to people never being satisfied.
‘Bawaal’ has drawn strong criticism from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. The organisation working to protect the Jewish community has called on Amazon to remove the film from Prime Video and to stop “monetising” the genocide in the 1940s.
The director, however, has defended the film, expressing his disappointment “with the way some people have comprehended it.” He stressed he had used the backdrop of WWII history to bring something new to Indian audiences, adding it was never his intention to be insensitive.