Acclaimed Director Christopher Nolan’s new summer blockbuster “Oppenheimer” has drawn the ire of Hindu nationalist politicians and groups in India over a sex scene that sees the film’s titular character read a line from one of the religion’s most sacred scriptures.
The movie, which recounts the life story of American theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the circumstances that led to the creation of the atomic bomb, features a scene in which the title character, played by Cillian Murphy, has sex with his lover Jean Tatlock (Florence Pugh).
Following their lovemaking, Pugh’s character grabs a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a 700-verse Hindu scripture that encompasses part of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. She then hands the book to Oppenheimer, who reads from it.
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” Oppenheimer utters before the couple resumes their steamy encounter.
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The line is also spoken several other times throughout the film.
In a statement retweeted nearly 5,000 times, India’s Information Commissioner, Uday Mahurkar, called the scene a “scathing attack on Hinduism” and suggested the American film industry’s sensitivity to accurate depictions of the Quran and Islam should also be extended as a courtesy to Hindus.
“We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene on life of a scientist. But this is a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus, rather it amounts to waging a war on the Hindu community and almost appears to be part of a larger conspiracy by anti-Hindu forces,” he wrote.
Mahurkar then urged Nolan to remove the scene from the film and said a decision to ignore the appeal would be considered a “deliberate assault on Indian civilization.”
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Meanwhile, the “Save Culture Save India Foundation,” of which Mahurkar is the founder, said in a press release that the scene should be investigated on “an urgent basis” and those involved should be “severely punished,”
“Masses are forced to remain helpless recipients of repeated attacks on their foundational values as content-makers get free hand to spend millions in making and promoting morally inappropriate, even disgusting stuff, in name of creativity. There is already a growing dissatisfaction against this,” the press release stated in part.
The Foundation also noted they were “perplexed” as to how the Central Board of Film Certification (CVFC), an Indian regulatory body, approved the movie with the sex scene included.
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According to reports, the CBFC gave the film a U/A rating, approving it for audiences 12 years and older. A child below 12 years of age must be under parental guidance.
Universal Pictures India, the film producers’ local unit and the CBFC did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Warner Bros Discovery said Monday that the film had grossed $7.33 million in the country over the weekend.
In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Murphy explained the sexual scenes were included by Nolan with purpose, and not for any “gratuitous” reason.
“He knew that those scenes would get the movie the rating that it got. And I think when you see it, it’s so f–king powerful. And they’re not gratuitous. They’re perfect. And Florence is just amazing,” Murphy said.
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