Socially relevant film on child trafficking on the CBFC chopping board!

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The infamous Pahlaj Nihalani is not in the hot seat anymore but cuts remain a constant at the CBFC. Now director Tabrez Noorani’s Love Soniya has been ordered to delete all its English and Hindi cuss words, and its scenes of sexual abuse have also been chopped and reduced. It’s clear that the claims of the Central Board of Film Certification, that a film with an ‘A’ certificate will not need any cuts, is pure hogwash. Love Soniya, despite being a socially relevant film, has been recommended more than 45 cuts before it could even be granted an ‘A’ certificate.

A gritty film that exposes the child trafficking menace, the film stars Mrunal Thakur, Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadha, Rajkummar Rao and Freida Pinto. Noorani put in extensive research on the sensitive subject, waiting 12 long years as he visited brothels, and even joined NGOs to rescue sex workers from prostitution, before making the film he has always wanted to.

Noorani believes that while internationally, Lukas Moodysson’s Lilya 4-ever portrayed the issue of human trafficking with the depth it deserves, in the Hindi film industry, neither Nagesh Kuknoor’s Laxmi nor Pradeep Sarkar’s Mardaani have managed to do justice to the topic and make a deep impact.

Love Soniya has evidently been inspired by real-life events and tells the story of a young Indian village girl, who gets sucked into the treacherous global sex trade network. According to sources, Soniya is sold off by her father in a bid to save his farm. He believes she will find a job in the city but after she disappears her older sister Preeti leaves the village to find her… only to get involved in the same world of human trafficking. The sisters do meet but their lives have been changed vastly by the gruesome circumstances.
With its portrayal of stark reality, Love Soniya is not finding much love at the play-it-safe Censor Board.

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