Had RRR been pictured in Russia, especially in front of Kremlin, would it have won an Oscar? I don’t think so.
I deeply believe the song’s prospects to win the best song award at Oscars was hugely increased because it was pictured in front of the Ukraine’s presidential palace, only few months before Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. The western media highlighted that it was shot in Ukraine, whereas Indian media didn’t bother to highlight it anywhere, instead they were basking in the national pride about an Indian song winning an Oscar.
On the other hand, Navalny is a documentary film that also won this year’s Oscar in Best Documentary category. This film is based on the alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader in Russia who was very critical in his criticism against Putin, and his government.
Keeping aside how good both RRR and Navalny are, which were produced before the Ukraine conflict started, when I observe these films through the current political prism, I was confused about the true worth of these films triumph at the Academy awards. Did the jury tried to be politically correct by appeasing to the Western narrative of the Ukraine-Russia conflict? I didn’t find any convincing arguments which cleared my lack of benefit of doubt.
If Academy was truly worried about the War, they should have granted the best picture award to All Quiet on the Western Front. This was a movie which showed us the perils of war on a soldier’s life.
Should we separate art from an artist?
This has been highly debated. I am still in conflict and unable to choose what side to be in this debate.
However ugly the personal life of a person is, if we join the ongoing rhetoric and add voice to the narrative against the artist, there is a very good probability that we might lose some of the best pieces of art. A truly beautiful piece of art, be it in music, paintings, literature, movies should be appreciated. Should the merit of the art be solely judged based on the quality of the art? Should we also consider the quality of the artist in calculating our appreciation?
What about sports and games?
We also saw few months ago about banning Russian athletes from participating in Olympics and other sporting events in the world. India has banned Pakistan cricketers in Indian Premier League as a protest against the Pakistan government in the backdrop of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
The best perspective can be got from 1936 Olympics in Berlin hosted by Adolf Hitler. Back then, many western nations debated whether to send their athletes to Berlin. Finally, all eligible nations participated. Jessie Owens from USA triumphed with the highest number of medals.
I am not sure about whether an art should be separated from an artist, but I strongly believe both art and games should be separated from politics. Below quote from Dead Poets Society is one of my favourites.
Medicine, law, business, engineering; These are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance and love – these are what we stay alive for.
Please don’t bring in politics anywhere nearer to above quote.
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