The Hindu right wing in India is up in arms over Christopher Nolan’s most recent blockbuster film, “Oppenheimer,” with some calling for a boycott and others demanding the removal of a sex scene in which the title character quotes a well-known passage from the religion’s holy text.
The scene in question shows actor Cillian Murphy, who plays the major part, having sex with actress Florence Pugh, who plays his love interest Jean Tatlock, in a movie that tells the story of the atomic bomb through the eyes of its inventor, Robert Oppenheimer.
During their sexual encounter, Pugh pauses, pulls up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s most revered texts, and requests that Murphy read aloud. Oppenheimer’s character declares, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” as they begin to have sex again.
Right-wing organizations have expressed fury about the scene, with a politician from the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India accusing the movie of being a “disturbing attack on Hinduism” and a “part of a larger conspiracy by anti-Hindu forces.”
India’s information commissioner, Uday Mahurkar, compared the incident to “waging a war on the Hindu community” in a statement released on Saturday, calling the incident “a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus.”
According to local sources, “Oppenheimer” made more than $3 million in its first weekend in India, surpassing the highly anticipated “Barbie,” directed by Greta Gerwig, which was released on the same day and made just over $1 million.
“Oppenheimer” received a U/A rating from India’s film board, which is only given to films with moderately adult themes that younger viewers can view under their parents’ supervision. The movie has not yet been banned in any of the nation’s states or union territories.