Actor-filmmaker Nandita Das feels her second directorial 'Manto' is not only for intellectuals, but anyone with an open heart and mind can connect with the film's truthfulness.
"One doesn't have to be an intellectual to watch a film like this. You just have an open heart and mind to see a film where we are celebrating honesty and truthfulness," Das said during a discussion on the renowned author and playwright Saadat Hasan Manto's biopic here on Thursday.
She also said 'Manto' is not just a film, it is more of a response to "what is happening to us".
"People who are at the crossroads, people who have conviction but grappling with thoughts about how much to speak up and how much not to speak, must see Manto," said Das, who garnered critical acclaim for her roles in 'Fire', 'Earth' and 'Bawander' among others.
Talking about the reception 'Manto' got during its screening at Cannes Film Festival, she said the audience could relate to his journey.
"Cannes has a discerning audience... we were wondering how Manto will be received, we were not sure. But the audience related to Manto's journey," Das said at the programme organised by St Xavier's College Calcutta Alumni Association.
She said the film has also won praise at other film festivals around the world.
"People reacted in the same way everywhere. It showed the universality of human experiences. It showed how the audience related to Manto's angst, fight for justice," said Das, who made her directorial debut with the 2008 film 'Firaaq'.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who plays the titular character, said he could relate with the thoughts of the author and playwright.
"I felt Manto's thought was my thought. His thought was ahead of his time," he said.