The saga surrounding the release of Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s “Saturday Afternoon” (Shonibar Bikel), has been fascinating to witness.
On January 21, the Bangladesh Film Censor Board had given a verbal clearance to the director. This was after the film had spent four-long-years being stuck in Censor Board clearance limbo.
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However, even after the appeal committee gave a verbal clearance to Farooki, the Censor Board did not provide the director with the official clearance letter, which would allow him to screen his movies in theatres.
Since a major point of contention for Farooki has been to have “Saturday Afternoon” release before “Faraaz”—Bollywood’s own take on the Holey Artisan attack—the director had been vocal on social media over the last couple of days. Multiple times now, Farooki has demanded for the clearance letter, stating how it will be ’embarrassing for Bangladesh’, if he is not allowed to release “Saturday Afternoon”.
Even yesterday, the director would share a statement on Facebook, talking about how they were fully prepared to release the film as soon as they get the official clearance letter. He once again asked the government officials involved to be sensible and help him by providing the clearance letter as soon as possible.
However, earlier today, Farooki put out yet another Facebook post, writing about how “Saturday Afternoon” would probably not be released before “Faraaz”, as he had initially hoped. The full statement read:
“We will unfortunately not be able to release ‘Saturday Afternoon’ on February 3. This is because we have not received the official clearance certificate in hand. We could have been extremely impatient in response to how this situation was handled. this very bad thing. But we have bet on being patient. This is because we are well aware of our end goal. They might be able to delay the movie, injure and hurt us, but they will not break us. We have risen from the depths of this nation’s reality. Instead of the third, maybe it will be released on the tenth. But you will not be able to suppress the indomitable spirit of us Bengalis. Another thing that must be said, is that whoever has illegally blocked the release of this film, despite the appeal committee’s verdict, must give an answer as to why our release has been delayed.”