Rani Mukerji Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, a film based on an Indian couple who fought the Norwegian government for the custody of their children, has received a sharp response from the country. The Norwegian embassy called the film “fiction”.
Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway follows the story of an Indian immigrant couple whose world came crashing down in 2012 when their two children were removed from their care in the Norwegian foster care system due to cultural differences.
“Children are never removed from their families based on cultural differences described. Eating with their hands or having children sleep in bed with their parents is not considered harmful to children and is not uncommon in Norway, regardless of cultural background,” the Norwegian embassy said in a statement, stressing that “some common facts need to be corrected.”
“The reason children are placed in alternative care is because they are victims of neglect, violence or other maltreatment.”
The statement confirmed that Norway is a democratic, multicultural society.
“In Norway, we value and respect different family systems and cultural practices, even when they differ from what we are used to – except for corporal punishment in parenting. There is zero tolerance for violence in any shape and form,” said the director. Embassy of Norway.
The statement said children’s welfare “is not driven by profit” and refuted the film’s alleged claim that “the more children are put into the foster care system, the more they earn.” “Alternative care is a responsible business and is not a money-making entity,” it said.
The embassy stated that children are placed in alternative care when they face neglect or “are subject to violence or other abuse.”
The statement emphasized that “such experiences” are difficult for those involved and that “child protection cases are not easy” for children, parents and child welfare.
In taking away Mrs Chatterjee’s children, the Norwegian government had claimed that she fed her children with her hands. The couple was also accused of beating their children.
Saibal Chatterjee, in his review of the film for NDTV, wrote, “Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway is an overheated affair that sucks the air out of an inherently moving story that deserved infinitely better. Rani Mukerji, on the other hand, lets it rip and the cinema trips with its excesses. Anirban Bhattacharya and Jim Sarbh are skilled actors. Their performances are far more refined than the film as a whole. But Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway is a Rani Mukerji show. She is the lone star here. She makes everyone else irrelevant.”