Jude Anthany asks those complaining of highlighting Church’s role in '2018' to watch 'Sara’s'

Jude says he is happiest when people say the movie has generated a feeling of unity. Photos: Instagram

Director Jude Anthany Joseph, basking in the success of his blockbuster film ‘2018: Everyone is a Hero’, wanted people who accuse him of highlighting the Church’s role during the floods, to watch his previous work ‘Sara’s’ which was pro-choice.

The filmmaker was addressing comments from a section of people who had alleged he has distorted facts in the movie by showing fishermen starting rescue operations after receiving approval from a Christian priest.

“That scene was not made up by me. The scene was included in the movie as I had come across a clip of the then collector saying how a priest had called her up telling the fishermen have initiated the rescue operations. When we enquired further, the fishermen themselves told us they gathered together for the operations after hearing the Church bell ring. If the initiative was taken from a mosque or temple, that scene would have been depicted like that in the movie,” he said.

“When Sara’s got released, I received flak from several corners as I had taken a stand supporting abortion, which is against the church stand. On the day the movie was released, many members of the diocese came and told me what I did was wrong. Many priests were unhappy that I took a stand on abortion. I stand by my point. Even today I believe, it is a woman’s choice to decide if she needs an abortion or not,” he added.

Speaking to Onmanorama, the filmmaker said he has always tried to portray humanity and humane aspects through his films and has never bothered about religion. “People will only see the negative aspects, though 99 per cent of what you did is positive. I always try not to get bothered about the negative aspects. I am satisfied if people leave theatres feeling proud they are a Malayali,” he said.

Jude added that he is happiest when people say the movie has generated a feeling of unity. “I decided to make this film when Bodhini founders informed me they wanted documentation of the 2018 floods. Now that the film is out, I am so glad they are talking about unity because there were a lot of issues dividing our state for some time,” he said.

Ask him if he expected ‘2018’ would be a huge hit, he is quick to reply. “Not everyone will believe this if I say it now, but I recorded a video of me calling up Anto chettan (film producer) a day before the movie hit theatres and telling him that ‘2018’ would be the best thing he did as the movie is going to go places. It’s a basic principle that you will reap benefits for your work hard. We need that minimum confidence,” he said.

So, why did he change the film title from ‘2403 feet’ to ‘2018: Everyone is a Hero’? “I felt the name did not have any relevance to this film in the long run as it only centred around the Idukki dam. This is why I came up with the title ‘2018’. However, it was Vivek Ramadevan who suggested ‘Everyone is a Hero’ and I liked it,” he said.

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