Quiz: Courting Controversy

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on: Nov 12, 2021

It’s the anniversary of the famous Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of HG Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’ which was so realistic that it caused a panic when it was broadcast live in 1938. This week’s quiz is about controversial works

1.      Deepa Mehta’s film Water, about the lives of widows in an ashram, was due to be shot in Varanasi when protestors stormed the ghats and destroyed the sets. In which country did she finally shoot the film?

2.      Which 2017 film was banned in Lebanon, Qatar and Tunisia because of the film’s lead star having served in the Israeli Army?

3.      Tartuffe, or The Impostor was a 17 century play, which was a satire on the religious hypocrisy of the time and was suppressed by King Louis XIV on the recommendation of the Archbishop of Paris. Name the playwright who also performed the title role.

4.      The second edition of which profoundly influential  novel published in 1961, contains a publisher’s  dedication to 12 jurors who returned a verdict of not guilty and allowed the book to be sold in the United Kingdom?

5.      The first book of this author is an anti-war classic, written in 1928 and later banned and burned in Nazi Germany. The sequel was named ‘The Road Back’ and also banned. Name the book, which was also made into an Academy Award winning film?

6.       Pehredaar Piya Ki  was an Indian  television serial that was broadcast on Sony TV. It premiered on 17 July 2017 and was cancelled within a month. For what specific reason was it cancelled?

7.      Rinki Bhattacharjya, the daughter of a famed film director,  threatened legal action against which 2007 film, alleging that the plot was similar to her father Bimal Roy’s classic, Madhumati?

8.      Which Indian film director was attacked with home-made bombs in 1995 for depicting inter-religious relations in his 1995 Tamil film, also dubbed in Hindi? The film was also banned in Malaysia and Singapore at the time.

9.      Which 2010 film starring James Franco depicted the 1957 obscenity trail for a beat generation poem dedicated to Carl Solomon?

10.  American rapper Vanilla Ice (Robert Matthew Van Winkle) had a huge hit with his 1990 single Ice Ice Baby. But he was sued for copying the bass line of a 1981 collaboration between Queen and David Bowie and finally settled out of court. Which song’s bass line did he copy?



1.      Sri Lanka

2.      Wonder Woman, which starred Gal Gadot

3.      Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Moliere

4.      Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by DH Lawrence, which had been banned till then in UK

5.      All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque

6.      Child marriage. It depicted an 18-year old girl marrying a 10 year old boy

7.      Om Shanti Om, directed by Shahrukh Khan

8.      Mani Ratnam, the film was Bombay

9.      Howl. The poem was written by Allen Ginsberg

10.    Under Pressure.


Joy Bhattacharjya

Published on October 29, 2021
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