Bollywood Movies

Bawaal movie antisemitic: Bollywood film sparks outrage for Holocaust comparisons

July 21, 20233 Mins Read

A prominent Antisemitism campaign group has demanded that Amazon remove a film that they claim minimises the Holocaust.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC) has sent a letter to Amazon Prime calling on them to remove the Bollywood film, Bawaal from their site.

Bawaal, released last Friday, has been called the “most insensitive film of the year,” for reducing the Holocaust to a plot device.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the SWC’s Director of Social Action, said: “Nitesh Tiwari [the director]  trivialises and demeans the memory of six million murdered Jews and millions of others who suffered at the hands of Hitlers Genocidal regime”.

In Bawaal, the central couple’s marital issues are compared to the Shoah. This metaphor culminates in the couple being told that “every relationship goes through its Auschwitz”.

The film, which was granted special permission to shoot at the concentration camp, also features a scene in which the protagonists enter a gas chamber. They are suffocated by pesticides while wearing striped clothes.

Hitler is also used as a metaphor for human greed in the film, with Ajju, the protagonist, saying to his wife: “We’re all a little like Hitler, aren’t we?”

They also pay a visit to the Anne Frank House, where Ajju asks his wife, played by Janhvi Kapoor, what she would do with only one day left to live. “After visiting Anne Frank’s house, some philosophy is to be expected,” he says. The following conversation is used to introduce a romantic development.

Some people have also criticised Amazon for releasing Nitesh Tiwari’s film.

Filming for Bawaal began in 2022, and took place across Europe. The story revolves around Ajju and his wife Nisha’s relationship, which is saved as they visit historic sites of the Second World War.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The Holocaust saw the systematic genocide of six million Jewish men, women and children. Its use as a cheap prop is sickening. This film has rightfully been criticised for its vapid imagery of the Auschwitz death camp. The writers, producers, funders and everyone responsible for bringing this to our screens should be utterly ashamed.”

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