Panaji: Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, who has won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 46th International Film Festival of India here, thought he was watching a movie when he saw the 9/11 terror strikes telecast live on television.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker told IANS that catastrophe-obsessed cinema had the ability to provoke as well as degenerate human beings by making them lose respect for both life and death.
“When the twin tower was attached on 9/11, I turned on the TV and thought it was just a blockbuster film playing. Only after that I heard the world ‘Breaking News’. I was sure that it is a movie. Cinema is a very strong thing. And cinema can provoke such a thing,” Mikhalkov said.
“In movies, thousands of people are killed and blood is flowing and nobody is sorry about it. It develops a habit in people to lose respect for the other’s life and death. Of course, it is not the only reason for aggression and violence,” he said.
The director also said that he grew up watching Indian films and added in jest that Raj Kapoor was so popular in Russia that had he lived on, he may have even ended up being the president of Russia.
“If that time Raj Kapoor wanted to, he could become president of the country. In my younger years, there were big lines to buy tickets in Russia for Indian movies,” he said.