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Jewish human rights group asks for ‘Bawaal’ to be taken down | The Express Tribune


Indian film Bawaal featuring Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor has come under immense criticism for a scene that drew inspiration from the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. Now, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a Jewish human rights NGO dedicated to the memory of Holocaust victims, has written an open letter to Prime Video, urging them to take down the movie and stop monetizing it.

Directed by renowned filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari, the film’s contemporary storyline takes a troubling turn as the protagonists find themselves in a gas chamber at Auschwitz, dressed in striped clothing, and suffocating. Even more disturbingly, the film uses Hitler as a metaphor for human greed, with the lead character likening everyone to the genocidal dictator.

In response to the film’s release, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, representing the SWC, expressed his profound concern in an open letter, as per the BBC. He condemned the movie for trivialising the Holocaust, stating that Auschwitz should never be used as a metaphor. The camp stands as a grim reminder of humanity’s darkest capacity for evil, and the movie’s exploitation of this solemn history deeply disrespects the memory of the millions who suffered and died under Hitler’s regime.

The film sparked outrage on social media, with viewers appalled by the insensitive parallel between a romantic relationship and the horrors of World War II. Janhvi and Varun’s characters imagining themselves in the gas chamber further compounded the offence. Lines such as “Every relationship goes through its Auschwitz” crossed a line of insensitivity that the SWC found inexcusable.

In light of these issues, the SWC called on Prime Video to act promptly by removing Bawaal from their platform. By doing so, the OTT platform can send a powerful message about respecting historical tragedies and human rights. The reaction to Bawaal shines a spotlight on the need for filmmakers to handle historical events with utmost sensitivity and respect.

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