Nandita Das’s Manto released in India on 21 September. Even though it didn’t do very well at the box office, the film was critical appreciated. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manto is based on the life of noted Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, who migrated to Pakistan from India during Partition.
Das and her team were hoping for the film to be released in Pakistan, but the filmmaker was left disappointed after the Central Board of Film Censors, Pakistan’s film certification body, banned it instead.
While Das is not surprised by the ban, the filmmaker is aghast by the reasons provided for it.
Manto review: This portrait of Manto is charming, engrossing, but not as provocative as his pen
“I just got the news that Manto was not passed by their [Pakistani] censor board. The reasons cited are that “the film has anti-Partition narrative theme and explicit scenes, which is against the norms of Pakistani society,” Das wrote in an article for the Scroll.in.