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Updated Maybe there should be an Oscar for the Best Censorship Drama...

Kenyan film maker sues the country's film censors and gets the film unbanned for 7 days in time to qualify for the Oscars


Link Here 24th September 2018
Rafiki is a 2018 Kenya / South Africa drama by Wanuri Kahiu.
Starring Patricia Amira, Muthoni Gathecha and Jimmy Gathu. IMDb

Banned by the Kenya Film Classification Board in April 2018. The KFCB claimed the film seeks to legitimize lesbian romance.

Rafiki, which means friend in Swahili,  is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko. It follows two close friends, Kena and Ziki, who eventually fall in love despite their families being on opposing sides of the political divide.

Wanuri Kahiu, the director of the banned film Rafiki is Suing Kenya's film censors to unblock the way for the film to qualify as contender for the Oscars. The suit demands that the local ban be lifted in time for her to submit the film to be considered for an Oscar. It's also pushing to change the law that has been used to ban popular films like The Wolf of Wall Street.

For Rafiki to be eligible for a Best Foreign Language award, it needs to be shown in Kenya before September 30, The Hollywood Reporter adds . If the selection committee is given permission to screen the film to submit it to the Academy, Rafiki could be the first Kenyan film to be nominated in that category

Wanuri Kahiu's Rafiki has received its due praise on the film festival circuit since her film was selected to make its world premiere at Cannes earlier this year-- making it the first Kenyan feature film to do so. However, the Kenya Film Classification Board banned the film, claiming that it seeks to legitimize lesbian romance.

Update: Make love not war, court organises a 7 day truce

22nd September 2018. See article from bbc.com

A Kenyan judge has lifted a ban on a film about a lesbian relationship - for a week. Judge Wilfrida Okwany decided to allow the screening of the film for seven days so that it could be submitted for the Oscars.

In order to be submitted to the Academy Awards, the film must have been publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days at a commercial motion picture venue.

In her ruling on Friday, Ms Okwany gave permission for the film to be shown to willing adults. She said she was not convinced that Kenya is such a weak society that its moral foundation will be shaken by seeing such a film.

But the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board, Ezekiel Mutua, was unhappy about the decision, claiming homosexuality is not our way of life.

The film's director Wanuri Kahiu, who appealed against the ban, was overjoyed with the latest decision.

The film's Twitter account announced that it will hold screenings in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi

Update: Popular

24th September 2018. See article

Rafiki, temporarily reprieved from being banned showed on Sunday to a cheering full house audience in Nairobi. The cinema showed on an additional screen after more than 450 people arrived.

Nairobi residents will be able to watch Rafiki during daytime-only screenings at the Prestige Cinema in the capital for a week

 

 

Promoting repression...

Malaysian government censors potraits of LGBT activists at an art exhibition


Link Here 10th August 2018
Full story: Gay Rights in Malaysia...Campaigning for gay rights
Malaysia's religious affairs minister has ordered portraits of LGBT activists to be removed from an arts festival in Penang.

Portraits of activists Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik, who champion the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, were taken down on the orders of Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, a minister in the Prime Minister's Department. Dr Mujahid said promoting LGBT activities was not in line with the new Pakatan Harapan administration's policies. He told reporters at the Parliament lobby: I was informed of the exhibition that showcased their pictures, along with the rainbow pride flag, in a public gallery.

I contacted the state government to check if the claim is true, and I have consistently repeated in Parliament that we do not support the promotion of LGBT culture in Malaysia.

Ms Nisha and Mr Pang's portraits were removed from the month-long Stripes and Strokes exhibition at the George Town Festival in Penang. They were portrayed holding the Jalur Gemilang, Malaysia's flag, in prints captured by photographer Mooreyameen Mohamad.

The exhibition sponsor, Datuk Vinod Sekhar, criticised the decision:

How could this happen in Penang? I expected more from the Penang government. We should be enlightening people, changing their mindsets - not reacting to people who are close-minded.

 

 

Guardians of repression...

China bans Sci-Fi drama over gay lead characters


Link Here 10th August 2018

A massively popular sci-fi drama in which the two lead characters are gay has been purged from one of China's top streaming platforms, as part of the continuing Chinese government campaign to stamp out what it deems harmful and obscene content from the internet, according to a report published this weekend by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper.

The move to censor the series Zhenhun , aka Guardian -- of China's most popular online shows with more than 1.8 billion views over its 40 episodes since it appeared on the Youku streaming service in early July.

The case of Guardian illustrates how sensitive China's censors can be when it comes to depictions of sexuality, and gay themes. The 40-part drama is based on a popular novel, written under a pseudonym, in which the two male protagonists are clearly in a relationship. In the adaptation, according to the Morning Post , their relationship was instead presented as a bond of brotherhood in the hope of avoiding the censors.

But toning down the novel's gay themes still wasn't enough for China's censorship authorities. In order to pass the censors, the screenwriters turned this story into a science fiction drama for children, and it was still taken offline.

 


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