South Asia Censorship News

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 Update: Obscene delay...

After a long battle with film censors, the gay film Ka Bodyscapes is unbanned, but only after cuts


Link Here 24th September 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Poster Ka Bodyscapes 2016 Jayan Cherian Ka Bodyscapes is a 2016 India / USA gay drama by Jayan Cherian.
Starring Adhithi, Tinto Arayani and Arundhathi. IMDb

Three young people, Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.

After a long battle with India's film censors of the CBFC, and with the help of a little pressure from the Kerala high court, the CBFC have finally granted Ka Bodyscapes an adults only 'A' rating, after demanding the following cuts:
  • Removal of all references to the right wing nationalist political party, RSS, and the saffron flag wherever they appear in the movie.
  • Additionally, the makers of the film have also been directed to delete all the visuals containing photos of the RSS founder KB Hedgewar and ideologue MS Golwalkar from the movie,
  • removal of a scene with a female character that is shown masturbating.
  • The supposedly objectionable and disrespectful visual of a painting depicting Lord Hanuman carrying books in his hand.

 

 Updated: Lamb of gods...

Australian lamb marketing advert offends the easily offended


Link Here 15th September 2017
lamb advert video Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) will investigate complaints made about an lamb marketing campaign that has angered the easily offended.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) launched an amusing advert featuring actors portraying Jesus, Lord Ganesh, L. Ron Hubbard and Buddha.

So far the ASB has received about 30 complaints about the ad. An ASB spokesperson told SBS World News most people who complained about the ad cited discrimination and vilification on the grounds of religion.

MLA Group marketing manager Andrew Howie explained the advert:

Lamb is the meat that brings people together. Our 'You Never Lamb Alone' campaigns have promoted the value of unity and inclusivity. This latest campaign instalment is no different, 

Our intent is never to offend, but rather acknowledge that lamb is a meat consumed by a wide variety of cultures and capture how the world could look if people left their differing views at the door and came to the table with open arms, and minds.

Howie also pointed out Ganesh was sitting across the table from Buddha, another vegetarian. Neither of them are eating meat or drinking wine but they were willing participants at the party which we would hope everyone can come together and celebrate their difference.

Not all deities were represented at the dinner table. To save offending muslims with a depiction of Mohammed, he was conveniently unable to make the dinner party.

Hindu Council of Ausralia spokesperson Balesh Dhankhar said they were very hurt and angry about this ad campaign. The reason being the Hindu community cannot imagine their deity, Lord Ganesh in this case, as eating meat. Dhankhar said most people who follow Hinduism were vegetarians and seeing Lord Ganesh in this manner was very insulting. He said the Hindu community was one of the fastest growing in Australia and seeing the deity depicted in this manner went against the country's values.

Update: India is offended

10th September 2017 See article from bbc.com

high commission of india logoThe High Commission of India in Canberra said it had made a demarche to three Australian government departments. It also urged Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to withdraw the advertisement because many people considered it offensive and hurting their religious sentiments.

A number of community associations have also registered their protest with government of Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia, the high commission said in a statement.

Update: And of course Rajan Zed

12th September 2017 See article from rajanzed.org

rajan zed website logoEternal whinger Rajan Zed has called for a ban of the Meat & Livestock Australia lamb advert.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was highly irresponsible of MLA to continue with this ad despite the clear expression by Hindus that it was very inappropriate and hurt their feelings.

Rajan Zed also urged Australia Advertising Standards Bureau to act urgently on the various complaints received by it regarding this ad.

Besides withdrawing the ad immediately, MLA Board Chair Dr. Michele Allan and Managing Director Richard Norton should resign for apparently working against the interests of the organization by upsetting consumers instead of charming them, and using cheap tactics to attract attention instead of seriously attempting to prevent consumers from reducing their lamb consumption, Rajan Zed indicated.

Zed had sought ban on You Never Lamb Alone video ad, which seemed to make fun of Lord Ganesha. Zed pointed out that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling lamb meat for mercantile greed. Moreover, linking Lord Ganesha with meat was very disrespectful and highly inappropriate, Zed added.

YouTube logoUpdate: Censored by YouTube

14th September 2017 See  article from thedrum.com

YouTube has removed the You Never Lamb Alone advert by Meat & Livestock Australia in India after requests from the Indian government.

A message on the video now reads for Indian viewers: this content is not on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government.

Update: Banned in Thailand

15th September 2017 See  article from khaosodenglish.com

Thailand flagFight of Gods is no longer available for purchase from within Thailand on Steam. This item is currently unavailable in your region, notes the entry in Steam's online store.

After the game was released, Buddhist officials in Thailand expressed outrage. Booncherd Kittitharangkoon, the director of a state agency that governs monks and temples, told reporters that the game could damage Buddhism.

Booncherd said he had asked the Culture of Censorship Ministry to send a complaint to Taiwanese game developer Digital Crafter. He warned that Thai authorities could take legal action if some characters were not removed.

A spokesman for British developer, PQube acknowledged that Thailand has formally demanded that the game be removed from sale in their territory.

 

 Update: CBFC assassins...

Another Hollywood film suffers cuts at the hands of the new film censor


Link Here 12th September 2017  full story: Film Classifications in India...Film censors and their cuts
Poster American Assassin 2017 Michael Cuesta American Assassin is a 2017 USA action thriller by Michael Cuesta.
Starring Dylan O'Brien, Michael Keaton and Taylor Kitsch. IMDb

Twenty three-year-old Mitch lost his parents to a tragic car accident at the age of fourteen, and his girlfriend to a terrorist attack just as they were engaged. Seeking revenge, he is enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy as a black ops recruit. Kennedy then assigns Cold War veteran Stan Hurley to train Mitch. Together they will later on investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on military and civilian targets. The discovery of a pattern in the violence leads them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative intent on starting a world war in the Middle East.

The Hollywood thriller American Assassin has been given an adults only 'A' certificate in India. and that only after cuts.

'Motherfucker' is still a taboo term. It will always be the same, says a CBFC source referring to the word that was ordered out of IT and now American Assassin . The word 'bastard' has also been cut So has a shot of a woman's frontal nudity.

So another censorship example that dashes any hopes that India's new film censor may be more willing to treat Indian adults as adults.

For comparison

  • US MPAA: Rated R uncut for strong violence throughout, some torture, language and brief nudity.
  • UK BBFC: Rated 18 uncut for strong sadistic and bloody violence

 

 Updated: BUT...the idea proved a bit too much for Indians to bear...

India's new film censor had hoped to pass IT uncut with the word 'motherfucker' being allowed for the first time


Link Here 10th September 2017  full story: Film Classifications in India...Film censors and their cuts
it 2017 indiaIt is a 2017 USA horror drama by Andrés Muschietti.
Starring Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher and Finn Wolfhard. BBFC link IMDb

In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind bloody remains. In a place known as 'The Barrens', a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with an evil clown and their determination to kill It.

India's new film censor has proven a breath of fresh air to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). On Tuesday, the CBFC's new chairperson, Prasoon Joshi, shocked many and surprised some when he upturned the Examining Committee's (EC) decision to come down heavily on Andres Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King's IT .

In a historic decision, all the recommended 12 cuts -- including some profanities -- were restored, and IT has been given an all clear, with an uncut A certificate. A source said the committee had cut out visuals of horror and many profanities, including words like 'fuck', 'pussy', 'cocks', and most shockingly, 'motherfucker, which was previously strictly forbidden. Apparently the latter has never been allowed in any Hollywood movie before.

The source says that the board now has clear instructions.  If a film gets an adults only 'A' certificate, there will be no visual or verbal cuts.

Update: On second thoughts

3rd September 2017 See  article from dnaindia.com

In a series of rapid developments, over the last week, the CBFC had restored all the cuts ordered by the Examining Committee. Then they got cold feet and revised their decision within 24 hours, asking for three muted words, 'pussy', 'motherfucker' and 'cunt'. But now the CBFC has revised its stance on the matter once again.

The film has been ordered to censor only one word 'motherfucker'. Says a source, The CBFC agreed to restore all the cuts, except the profanity.

For comparison, in the the UK, the BBFC passed the film 15 uncut for strong horror, violence, language for:

Update: Film makers censored from airing cuts negotiations in public

6th September 2017 See  article from hindustantimes.com

In a series of rapid developments, over the last week, the CBFC had restored all the cuts ordered by the Examining Committee. Then they got cold feet and revised their decision within 24 hours, asking for three muted words, 'pussy', 'motherfucker' and 'cunt'. But now the CBFC has revised its stance on the matter once again.

A DNA report claimed on Tuesday that Joshi has introduced new rules for the board, according to which, no information about suggested cuts will be shared with the filmmakers and that the certificate will be the only communication with them.

Earlier, informal communication used to help filmmakers negotiate before they received the certificate, but the new censor was clearly not impressed by the public negotiations about the censorship to Andrés Muschietti's IT so has moved to ban such discussions in the public sphere.

Update: Censors see red over tampons

10th September 2017 See review from indianexpress.com . Thanks to Artistic Monkey

It seems tha the Indian film censors are not being fully honest about there being just 1 cut to the film for strong language. The censors have also taken offence at the sight of a packet of tampons at a pharmacy. The packet was duly blurred lest it cause the downfall of civilised society in India.

 

 Update: Welcome to the X Zone...

India's film censors still quick to ban films, dashing recent hopes of the new film censor bringing with him a more grownup approach


Link Here 10th September 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
x zoneIndia's Central Board Of Film Certification on Thursday banned a film, the first to get the treatment after Prasoon Joshi took over as the chief censor.

The offending film is titled X Zone , produced and directed by Faisal Kapadi. According to CBFC sources, scenes of sex and nudity including, apparently, a frontal nudity shot of actress Hrishita Bhatt were the cause of the ban.

This dashes recent hopes that all films, regardless of content, can be passed with an adults only 'A' rating.

Not so, says a source close to the CBFC, sleaze won't get passed. That won't change.

 

 Update: Lipstick Under my Burkha...

Indian film ban helps make a film a 'super hit' in India and then helps get a theatrical release in the US


Link Here 8th September 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Poster Lipstick Under My Burkha 2016 Alankrita Shrivastava Lipstick Under My Burkha is a 2016 India drama by Alankrita Shrivastava.
Starring Shashank Arora, Plabita Borthakur and Sonal Jha. IMDb

Set in the crowded by-lanes of small town India, Lipstick Under My Burkha chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom. Though stifled and trapped in their worlds, these four women claim their desires through small acts of courage and stealthy rebellion.

The award-winning film Lipstick Under My Burkha , which was originally banned in India by film censors opens in U.S. theaters this Friday. It will open in six theaters in California.

Writer and director Alankrita Shrivastava's movie, a dramatic comedy, focuses on four Bhopal women rebelling against long held taboos, many of them sexual, in their tiny conservative town. The independent film came under scrutiny from India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which kept it from being released in January of this year, citing issues with its sexual nature. In its decision, the CBFC faulted the film for being lady oriented. Shrivastava explained during a panel discussion:

They did what they could in their power to stop the film from being exhibited. But what I think is interesting is that when this decision became public, the women of India really stood up. For the first time, I felt that Indian mainstream media was discussing things like the male gaze and how the portrayal of women has been controlled by men.

After appealing the ban, Shrivastava compromised with the CBFC, volunteering more than 16 cuts to the film. After then being approved for release, the controversy helped the movie and it became a super hit, recovering its production costs four days after its initial release.

 

  Credibility gap...

Indian TV show featuring child marriage is pulled after complaints


Link Here 31st August 2017
pehredaar piya kiAn Indian TV show which depicted a bizarre love story between a nine-year-old boy and an 18-year-old woman has been pulled off air following criticism that it promoted child marriage and was regressive.

In a statement, Sony Entertainment Television said they were cancelling the controversial daily soap Pehredaar Piya Ki (Husband's Guard).

The show which launched in mid-July, had attracted a lot of negative attention right from the beginning for the unusual love story at its centre.

The show's troubles began when Jai Ho Foundation, a Mumbai-based non-governmental organisation, petitioned authorities, demanding an immediate ban on it, describing it as indecent and unfit for children. Jai Ho said in a complaint letter to India's Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani:

A child is seen caressing, stalking and having a relationship of a sexual nature with a lady who is more than double his age... This is an indecent and obscene representation of a child for the purpose of representing sexual relationship.

The programme also prompted a lot of social media outrage in a country where child marriage is still rampant. A petition addressed to Ms Irani on change.org gathered more than 100,000 signatures, prompting the minister to write to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) to take prompt action against the show.

The BCCC ordered the show timings to be changed from the prime time slot of 8:30pm to 10:30pm and the show also began putting out a disclaimer saying we do not support child marriage.

 

 Update: Excessive censorship...

New Indian film censor quickly bans his first film, Toofan Singh


Link Here 24th August 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence

toofan singhToofan Singh is a 2017 India action film by Baghal Singh and Gurcharan Virk.
Starring Ranjit Bawa, Avtar Gill and Raza Murad. BBFC link IMDb

The journey of a Punjabi Sikh boy who grew up during the chaotic, violent 1980s revolving around his chase for survival, equality and justice in order to protect and shield society and fight against brutality, crime and corruption.

India's new chief film censor hasn't got off to a very good start as he has already banned his first film.

Even as Prasoon Joshi stepped into the chairman's role at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), reports have emerged of the new regime's first edict: banning the Punjabi film, Toofan Singh , on grounds of supposed excessive violence.

Poster of Punjabi film Toofan Singh.

Toofan Singh, directed by Baghal Singh and starring Ranjit Bawa in the title role, tells the story of a man who adopts terrorist-like tactics in order to fight corruption in Indian politics and bureaucracy.

A source from the CBFC reportedly said:

The film is brutal and anarchic. We couldn't empathise with its message of brute power, let alone grant it a censor certificate

In the UK, the film was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence, scenes of torture

 

 Update: An end to the stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism...

India sacks its crazed chief censor


Link Here 12th August 2017  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
pahlaj-nihalaniPahlaj Nihalani has been sacked as the chief censor of India's board of film censors, the CBFC. He said that he had no regret about being asked to step down, is proud of being labelled as Sanskari censor chief and had in fact been preparing for his exit since the last six months.

Nihalani had wound up the Indian film industry with a serious of moralistic and pedantic censorship rules that led to a long trail of excessive cuts and bans.

Nihalani, who was appointed to the post in 2015, a year after Modi became the Prime Minister, has been replaced by writer-lyricist-and advertising exec, Prasoon Joshi. Nihalani commented:

We've speeded up the certification process and made it entirely digital. I just hope my successor doesn't succumb to false notions of liberalism propagated by the pseudo-progressive elements in our film industry and work in a direction opposed to mine.

Do I have any regrets? None at all. I worked in all sincerity and with utmost honesty. In the process, I offended a lot of the so-called progressive elements. I also got labelled a 'Sanskari' censor chief. I am proud of that label.

I hope I am remembered as the CBFC chairperson who took a firm stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism, no matter how unpopular it made me.

 

  ... Oustanding nipples at the CBFC...

Indian film censors make significant cuts to Atomic Blonde


Link Here 11th August 2017
atomoc blondeCharlize Theron and Sofia Boutella's lesbian sex scene from their new film, Atomic Blonde, has been totally cut by Indian film censors at the CBFC.  The list of CBFC cuts says:

Delete the visual of the hand touching the bare breast in bed of two ladies, and delete the entire love-making (having sex).

In addition to the sex scene, shots of Theron's bare butt in the bathtub have been asked to be removed. Shots of her nipples visible under a sweater, and a separate scene in which she is topless, have also been ordered out. Words like cunt, cock, balls, bitchh, prick , and cocksuker have been asked to be removed from the subtitles, but not from the soundtrack.

 

 Update: Holy Cow Batman!...

Crazed Indian film censor bans the use of the word 'cow'


Link Here 16th July 2017  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity India's film censors have ordered that a documentary about the economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen be altered to remove words including 'Hindu' 'India' and 'cow', the director has said.

Suman Ghosh said he was told by censor board officials that his one-hour documentary about Sen, a Harvard professor and essayist, could be released only if certain words were bleeped out. Those words reportedly included cow, Hindu India, Hindutva, a reference to the religious nationalist ideology of India's ruling party, and Gujarat, the home state of the country's prime minister, Narendra Modi .

I was quite shaken, Ghosh said of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decision, against which he said he would be appealing. I was shocked but I thought, I have to argue.

In the documentary, named after his book of essays The Argumentative Indian, Sen criticises what he sees as the restricted vision of India espoused by Modi's rightwing nationalist party.  In one reportedly censored scene, Sen lauds the value of vigorous argument and debate, in contrast to chastising people for having mistreated a cow or some such thing.

 

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