A doyen of the Hindi film industry, Sudhir Mishra is known for making political and social commentary through his films, without mincing words.
In his latest success Afwaah, Mishra questions the ease with which unverified fake news spread on social media can end up destroying lives, while also making a commentary on the trend of lynching in India.
For a filmmaker who has made films like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and Chameli, addressing real-life social and political issues, it was interesting to meet the man himself to ask him how he would use cinema to tackle recent on-the-ground issues like the recent violence in Haryana’s Mewat and Nuh on which he said, if asked, he would be happy to screen Afwaah there and have a discussion around the film and the themes it touch.
But he was clear when he said that, “I don’t want to create something. No film is worth a riot, no film is worth somebody’s life. I deliberately don’t sensationalise.”
'Research Before Reacting’
He explained that he makes films which "have a rational argument”. His sane advice is, “Don’t react immediately, doubt everything, research, confirm.”
According to Mishra, he tries to encompass reality through a genre which also simultaneously entertains. But he definitely likes to talk to people who oppose his films, always ready for a healthy debate.
On issues of national importance such as the violence in Manipur, as a filmmaker, he believes he would delve into deep research to understand the nuances of the issue as he is not familiar with the state, before even thinking of making a film.
He also speaks of his art, political beliefs, and approach to resolving social disharmony through conversation. Finally, he gives a flavour of his next film, a political and social satire, that he is currently working on.