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Updated: The Lady of Heaven...

Film withdrawn from many cinemas after religious protests


Link Here17th June 2022
The Lady Of Heaven is a 2021 UK action drama by Eli King
Starring Ray Fearon, Denise Black and Christopher Sciueref BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The heart-wrenching journey of Lady Fatima, the daughter of the religious character Muhammad. Separated by 1400 years, an Iraqi child, in the midst of a war-torn country, learns the importance and power of patience. After losing his mother, the child finds himself in a new home, where a loving grandmother narrates the historical story of The Lady and how her suffering as the first victim of terror spun out of control into the 21st century.

Cineworld cinemas have cancelled all screenings of a film about the daughter of the religious character Muhammad after cinemas were picketed by Muslim activists.

Presumably fearing muslim violence, Cineworld said it took the decision to cancel all showings of The Lady of Heaven to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.

Vue Cinemas have cancelled some screenings but still seems to be showing the film in London on the south east.

The issue is that the film provides a visual representation of Muhammad, albeit CGI created, rather than being played by an actor.

A video circulating online showed the manager of Sheffield Cineworld telling protesters that Sunday night's screening had been cancelled, to cries of Allahu Akbar (God is great).

A screening in Bolton was cancelled after 100 protesters turned up at the local Cineworld branch. The chair of the Bolton Council of Mosques had urged the cancellation of the screening, claiming the film was underpinned with a sectarian ideology and is blasphemous in nature to the Muslim community.

5Pillars, a Muslim news site, tweeted a photo of what it said was 200 Muslims protesting against the film outside Cineworld in Broad Street, Birmingham on Sunday.

More than 117,000 people have signed a petition to try to get the film banned from all UK cinemas but in fact the film has already been passed 15 uncut by the BBFC, the UK film censor. The film has also been rated R by the MPA for screenings in the US.

Claire Fox, who sits in the House of Lords,  tweeted that the decision to cancel the screening showed the creep of extra-parliamentary blasphemy law was now censoring film. She wrote:

Same 'I Find that Offensive' cancel culture arguments now being used far beyond campus activism. Disastrous for the arts, dangerous for free speech, a lesson to those who argue identity politics are no threat to democracy.

Malik Shlibak, executive producer of the film, told the Guardian cinemas should stand up and defend their right to show films that people want to see:

I think cinemas are crumbling to the pressure, and taking these decisions to quell the noise. The production company had received dozens of messages from people who were trying to book tickets to see the film but not being able to.

This is an artistic endeavour talking about and elaborating on history and religion, which always has a plethora of different takes and interpretations. That's normal and healthy. We welcome this and we welcome people to express themselves, whether they're for or against the film.

What we don't support, and what we vehemently stand against, is what they're trying to do, which is to censor others and dictate what we can and cannot watch in UK cinemas.They have no right to do so and it's something very dangerous. The general population really need to be aware of this and stand up to this, because it is infringing and putting in danger their freedom of speech.

 

Offsite comment: The shameful censorship of The Lady of Heaven

 See article from spiked-online.com

 

Update: The BBFC responds to religious bullying in a statement

12th June 2022. See article from bbfc.co.uk

We classify content in line with our published Classification Guidelines, which are the result of wide-scale consultations with thousands of people from across the UK, extensive research, and more than 100 years of experience. They are updated every four to five years to ensure that our standards continue to reflect the expectations and values of people across the country.

We classified The Lady Of Heaven 15 for strong bloody violence, gory images, and threat. We provide content advice -- which we call 'ratings info' -- on our website and app for every film we classify, so that audiences can decide for themselves whether a film will be suitable for them or their families. You can review the ratings info for The Lady Of Heaven here.

On occasion, we will consider some content unsuitable for classification, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. As an accountable and transparent organisation, this decision and the reasons for it will be communicated to the distributor and publicly. However, there is nothing in The Lady Of Heaven that exceeds our Classification Guidelines at 15 or deems it unsuitable for classification.

Filmmakers are free to explore historical or controversial themes and events within their films. The BBFC's role is to ensure the content is classified appropriately based on our guidelines, in order to protect children and other vulnerable groups from potential harm and to empower consumers to make informed viewing decisions.

 

Update: The Government is also unimpressed by religious bullying and sacks an organiser of the protests

12th June 2022. See article from bbfc.co.uk

An imam has been dismissed as a government adviser after backing calls for The Lady of Heaven to be banned. Qari Asim was removed from his role as an Islamophobia consultant after his role in organising protests against the film. Asim was said to have advertised a protest in Leeds, with details of its timing and location.

Supporting the campaign to limit free expression precluded him from continuing, the government said. Asim, imam of the Makkah Masjid mosque in Leeds, was told his appointment as deputy chair of the government's Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group had to end in a letter from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. It said:

Your recent support for a campaign to limit free expression - a campaign which has itself encouraged communal tensions - means it is no longer appropriate for you to continue your work with government in roles designed to promote community harmony.

He was told his actions were a clear effort to restrict artistic expression and that the campaign had led to street protests which have fomented religious hatred. The government said that on Monday Asim had posted on Facebook:

We have been working with many brothers and Imams across the country to liaise with the cinemas. Some Imams have taken a view to protest and others are in dialogue with the cinemas trying to resolve the situation.

The letter continued:

Resolving the situation, as you made clear, meant cancelling screenings. You wrote that in some places we have been successful and those cinemas will no longer be showing the movie.

We were disappointed to see that you failed to condemn some of the protests complicit in these behaviours.

 

Offiste Comment: Film bans are less about offence, more community leaders showing who's boss

10th June 2022. See article from theguardian.com by Kenan Malik

Debates about the giving of offence are rarely about offence. They are mostly about gatekeeping: that is, debates over who has the right to police communities and determine what can be said about a community and by a community.

The Lady of Heaven has already had a five-week run in the US without protest. In Britain, however, the film was seen as an opportunity for certain leaders and organisations to flex their muscles. Much of the campaign for its banning has been organised by the Muslim news website 5Pillars, its editor Roshan Muhammed Salih describing the film as shocking and disgusting and as pure, unadulterated, sectarian filth. Salih has long been a propagandist for both the Iranian regime (he was head of news for Press TV, Tehran's English language broadcast service) and the Taliban.

See full article from theguardian.com by Kenan Malik

 

Update: Muslim Action Forum calls on the BBFC to ban the Lady of Heaven

17th June 2022. See article. From 5pillarsuk.com

The Muslim Action Forum is a collective campaign group. It has called on muslims to boycott cinema chains that have shown The Lady of Heaven and has witten a letter to the BBFC calling for a ban of the film. The letter to the BBFC reads:

Dear Sir,

We write to you regarding the film Lady of Heaven directed by Eli King, that was released in Britain on 3rd June 2022 in Vue Cinemas, Cineworld and Showcase. It has been written by Yasir Al-Habib who is a prominent, extreme Shi'a cleric denounced by Muslims of all denominations including Shia. He was imprisoned in Kuwait for his hate speech, and also deported out of Iran -- denounced by them as a mad man and an illiterate fool.

The film is blasphemous, historically inaccurate, and blatantly anti-Muslim, designed to cause outrage and hatred between communities, especially between Shias and Sunnis. It has been a financial flop in the USA and in the UK as audiences have realised that it is nothing but a cheap money-making exercise at the expense of others. This is akin to showing a sectarian film about the issues in Northern Ireland where the leaders of one side are depicted as inherently evil along with their families. On this occasion the beliefs of over two billion Muslims have been deeply offended. Showcase Cinemas. Editorial credit: Amani A / Shutterstock.com

The Public Order Act 1986, quoted in your guidelines, makes it illegal to show abusive and insulting images designed to stir up racial or religious hatred. This film has been designed to create just that result. We already know after the Satanic Verses and Charlie Hebdo experiences, that it is deeply offensive to the two billion Muslims in this world to depict the image of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is respected and revered by each and every one of us. The film offends us as it not only depicts our beloved Prophet but also portrays members of his blessed household. Whilst these noble people dedicated their whole lives in helping the sick and needy, the film depicts some of them as evil and as terrorists.

This film has been withdrawn from most cinemas after Muslims demonstrated their opposition to it and were prepared to continue to peacefully demonstrate until the film was withdrawn. We are now calling upon British Muslims to boycott all the guilty cinema chains.

The BBFC should not have given licence in the first instance, and we request to review your decision in regards this film. We are happy to assist you in any way possible in this regard, if required.

Shoaib Malik
National Co-ordinator
On behalf of Muslim Action Forum

 

 

Lightyears behind...

Many muslim countries won't be screening the new children's cartoon Lightyear


Link Here15th June 2022
Lightyear is a 2022 US children's cartoon drama by Angus MacLane
Starring Chris Evans, (voice), Keke Palmer, (voice), Dale Soules and (voice) BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond.

There are no censorship issues with this release in the west but the film has been banned in many muslim countries.

In particular the film won't be in theaters in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The issue is the presence of a gay kiss and openly LGBTQ characters in the film.

The film was originally passed by the United Arab Emirates film censors, but the film's licence was revoked after complaints on social media.

Lightyear has not been officially banned in Saudi Arabia but will not be screening due to the assumption that it would be banned were it to be submitted.

 

 

The Lady of Heaven......

Banned in Morocco


Link Here12th June 2022
The Lady Of Heaven is a 2021 UK action drama by Eli King
Starring Ray Fearon, Denise Black and Christopher Sciueref BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The heart-wrenching journey of Lady Fatima, the daughter of the religious character Muhammad. Separated by 1400 years, an Iraqi child, in the midst of a war-torn country, learns the importance and power of patience. After losing his mother, the child finds himself in a new home, where a loving grandmother narrates the historical story of The Lady and how her suffering as the first victim of terror spun out of control into the 21st century.

Moroccan film censors have banned the British film Lady of Heaven, after it was condemned by the country's religious council.

The Supreme Ulema Council said the movie was a flagrant falsification of the established facts of Islam. The council accused the film of loathsome partiality and accused the filmmakers of seeking fame and sensationalism and hurting the feelings of Muslims and stirring up religious sensitivities.

The BBC's Religion Editor, Aleem Maqbool, says the criticism centres on the the way the Shia Muslim film-maker and cleric, Yasser Al-Habib, has portrayed prominent revered figures in early Sunni Islam, implying that there are comparisons between their actions with those of the Islamic State group in Iraq.

There have been protests against the film in the UK. Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq have also denounced it.

 

 

Vue Cinemas recommend...

Rob Savage's Dashcom banned from Vue on grounds of being offensive


Link Here2nd June 2022
Dashcam is a 2021 UK/US horror by Rob Savage
Starring Annie Hardy, Amar Chadha-Patel and Angela Enahoro BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Two friends embark on a horror-fueled road trip and livestream the most terrifying night of their lives.

A new horror film is apparently considered so offensive that Vue cinemas have cancelled all scheduled screenings.

Those who had purchased tickets to see Dashcam, the new found-footage horror from director Rob Savage, were surprised when they realised screenings would no longer take place. This was brought to the attention of Savage himself, who shared an email from a Vue employee received by one customer.

Apparently @vuecinemas have canceled our screenings of DASHCAM because the movie is too offensive! If that doesn't make you want to watch this film, what will?

In the email, Vue told the customer:

Thank you for your question regarding Dashcam . I have received feedack from our staffing screen and they have decided we won't be showing Dashcam at any of our venues due to the contents of the movie, which may offend our audiences.

We at Vue believe in diversity and any movie which may offend audiences, we may decide to no longer show at the last second without notice. I'm sorry this is not the outcome you were looking for.

Vue later made an unconvincing attempt to row back on offensiveness being the reason for the ban and cited commercial reasons instead.

The BBFC rating information reveals more about offensive aspects of the film. The BBFC explains:

The protagonist expresses homophobic attitudes, including the use of discriminatory terms ('fag' and faggot'). Other discriminatory language includes 'retard, libtards and mongoloid.

A scene involves focus on human excrement after a woman soils herself in the backseat of a car.

 

 

The Kashmir Files...

Indian film banned in Singapore for unfavourable portrayal of muslims


Link Here15th May 2022
Full story: Banned Films in Singapore...To Singapore with Love
The Kashmir Files is a 2022 India historical thriller by Vivek Agnihotri
Starring Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty and Darshan Kumaar BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The Kashmir Files is a story, based on video interviews of the first generation victims of the Genocide of Kashmiri Pandit Community In 1990.

The Indian hit film The Kashmir Files has been banned in Singapore by the country's InfoComm Media Development Authority, on the grounds that it could supposedly disturb religious harmony.

The IMDA said that it had consulted with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the Ministry of Home Affairs, and that they together found the film to have exceeded the Film Classification Guidelines for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the on-going conflict in Kashmir saying:

These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in Singapore's multi-racial and multi-religious society.

The film was also briefly banned by the UAE film censors but the decision was reversed and the film was released uncut.

The New Zealand film censor initially passed the film R16 but this was uprated to R18 in response to muslim 'concerns'.

 

 

Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of A Serial Killer...

Film just banned in Pakistan gets a screening at the UK Asian Films Festival


Link Here 2nd April 2022
Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of A Serial Killer is a 2022 Pakistan crime thriller by Abu Aleeha
Starring Kaleem Ghori, Yasir Hussain and Rabya Kulsoom IMDb

The story of serial killer Javed Iqbal, who sexually abused and killed more than 100 children in Lahore between 1998 and 1999.

The movie Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of A Serial Killer was eagerly awaited in its native Pakistan but after a preview screening in Karachi it was abruptly pulled by the government's Central Bureau of Film Censors, despite it initially receiving censor approval. The decision was met with widespread condemnation by the film community and those who had been involved in the Javed Iqbal investigation.

A high court case is currently ongoing in a bid to retract the decision.

The film is based on writer-director Abu Aleeha's own novel Kukri . UK Asian Film Festival Founder and Director, Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry commented:

It brings to light an issue -- the abuse and mass murder of young boys -- that is of the utmost importance and yet rarely discussed. It has always been far too convenient for South Asian societies to brush such issues under the carpet but only by creating safe spaces in which to confront these issues and their root causes can we begin to create the meaningful social change we need. In that way we all owe a debt of gratitude to the creators of this film.

 

 

Married to repressive morality...

The Kenya film censor bans gay themed Indian film titled Badhaai Do


Link Here13th February 2022
Full story: Film Censorship in Kenya...Ban happy KFCB particularly for gay themese
Badhaai Do is a 2022 India comedy by Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Starring Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar and Sheeba Chaddha BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Shardul Thakur and Suman Singh enter into a marriage of gay convenience but chaos ensues when her girlfriend comes to stay with them.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KCFB) has banned a gay-themed Indian film titled Badhaaai Do .

Sammy Wambua, the Film Board's acting Chief Executive said that the film tries to directly influence the viewer into believing that homosexuality is a normal way of life. He added:

The multiple scenes of lesbian and gay affection depicted in the film are in complete disregard of our cultural values and beliefs. The film in question overtly disregards our laws, constitution, and sensibilities as a people.

 

 

West Side Story...

Middle East censors gang up against Spielberg's latest movie


Link Here9th December 2021
West Side Story is a 2021 US crime romance by Steven Spielberg
Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose BBFC link 2020 IMDb

An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

Steven Spielberg's latest movie West Side Story to be released later in the month has been banned in several Middle Eastern countries. The musical has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

The film was banned because of Disney's refusal to comply with cuts requested by censors.

The film is rumoured to contain same-sex scenes. Also Disney the portrayal of a transgender character played by a non-binary actor Iris Menas seem to have offended the censors.

Perhaps the most likely scenes for cuts is described by the BBFC:

There are scenes of racist behaviour, including use of the terms spic and coloured. In another scene teenagers mock and misgender a person who is implied to be a trans man, and one of the bullies brags about pantsing him and seeing his genitals. Further discriminatory language includes polack and pansy.

 

 

I Am Samuel...

Kenya's film censor bans gay documentary


Link Here25th September 2021
Full story: Film Censorship in Kenya...Ban happy KFCB particularly for gay themese
I Am Samuel is a 2020 Kenya / Canada / UK / USA documentary by Peter Murimi
Starring Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell and Sasha Knight BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Filmed verite style over five years, I Am Samuel is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man torn between balancing duty to his family with his dreams for his future.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned the gay documentary I am Samuel claiming that it sought to propagate values that are in dissonance with our constitution, culture values and norms. KFCB boss Christopher Wambua declared the film to be blasphemous and added:

Worse still, the production is demeaning of Christianity as two gay men in the film purport to conduct a religious marriage invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Directed by a Kenyan filmmaker, I Am Samuel depicts a romantic relationship between two men living in Nairobi and promotes same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life.

 

 

Circus of Life...

Film banned in Pakistan for blasphemy is nominated for an Oscar


Link Here30th January 2021
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Zindagi Tamasha (Circus of Life) is a 2019 Pakistan drama by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat.
Starring Arif Hassan, Ali Kureshi and Samiya Mumtaz. IMDb

A devout Muslim who writes composes, and even records hymns praising the Prophet, Muhammad Rahat Khawaja is a respected elderly man who works in real estate and takes care of his bedridden wife. One day, he attends the wedding of a friend's son, where he inadvertently shows off a dance in front of his friends and family. His dance gets recorded and then uploaded to all social media platforms, which then also gets broadcasted on television. And the chaos begins to ensue in his quiet life.

The film was banned in January 2020 over fears of blasphemy but the ban was overruled in July 2020 by Pakistan's Senate Committee for Human Rights. The film was banned after workers of the hardline Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) vowed to hold a countrywide protest against its screening.

The film has now gained further prominence in early 2021 after it was nominated for the Best International Feature Oscar.

 

 

Commented: The BBFC's Latest Orgy of Censorship...

The British board of film censors bans the video nasty re-release of The Gestapo's Last Orgy


Link Here27th January 2021
The Gestapo's Last Orgy is a 1977 Italian prison film by Cesare Canevari.
With Adriano Micantoni, Daniela Poggi and Maristella Greco. Melon Farmers link BBFC link 2020 IMDb

In the tradition of THE NIGHT PORTER, SALON KITTY and SALO only far more depraved comes perhaps the most notorious Nazisploitation epic of them all: Daniela Levy  stars as a beautiful young death camp prisoner forced into a nightmare of brutality, torment and sexual degradation. But will a Commandant's vilest urge trigger her ultimate vengeance? Marc Loud co-stars in this fetid slice of filth-strudel

The BBFC has just banned a Blu-ray re-release of the notable Video Nasty The Gestapo's Last Orgy. The video was banned as a video nasty in 1984 and has never been released in the UK since. The video is available uncut in the US though.

The BBFC seems to be embracing more politically correct language in its rating explanations and consumer advice lately, so it is getting hard to distinguish the reasoned explanation form exaggeration and propaganda. Anyway the BBFC explained the ban as follows:

THE GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY is an Italian exploitation film, from 1977, in which a Jewish woman revisits the site of a concentration camp in which she was formerly imprisoned and subjected to torture, terrorisation, humiliation and sexual violence.

BBFC Guidelines state that: As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work --.where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on rape, other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour or sadistic violence.

THE GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY is largely composed of scenes of strong sadistic violence, humiliation, degradation and non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, all of which occurs within a clearly anti-Semitic context. Its central concept is therefore unacceptable, and the sadistic and sexually abusive material it contains is too pervasive to be effectively addressed by cuts.

Accordingly, the BBFC has refused classification to this work.

Offsite Comment: Still Too Outrageous For Britain's Censors

27th January 2021. See article from reprobatepress.com

The very idea that a work of fiction -- a very clear work of fiction -- can somehow deprave and corrupt an otherwise normal person (and make no mistake, the idea of corruption is one of unbalancing the normal individual, not tipping an already morally disturbed individual over the edge) is one that belongs in a past that we have long left behind. There's no scientific evidence to back it up, and the whole idea belongs more to the enforcement of morality -- the prevention of bad ideas entering the public sphere -- than stopping actual harm to anyone.

Read the full  article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Nabab LLB...

A film is banned in Bangladesh for making the police look bad


Link Here7th January 2021
Full story: Banned Films in Bangladesh...Rana Plaza banned for releasing dire factory conditions
Nabab LLB is a 2020 Bangladesh thriller by Ananyo Mamun
Starring Shakib Khan,Mahiya Mahi,Orchita Sporshia IMDb

On 25 December 2020, film director Anonno Mamun and actor Shaheen Mridha have been charged with making a film with pornographic content . Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested the artists the day before due to a case filed against them under the Pornography Control Act for allegedly insulting the police in the film Nabab LLB .

The film Nabab LLB was released on 16 December 2020 and is set in a fictional courtroom, treating about rape and the treatment of victims.

According to Al Jazeera , the report released by Dhaka Metropolitan Police points to making and acting in a film containing such offensive and obscene dialogue as a reason for the artists' arrest. The report also highlights that the police was poorly represented in the film and that the representation of the police officer using offensive gestures and obscene language during the fictional interrogation in the film could cause negative perceptions about policing among public.

There is a petition calling on the Dhaka Metropolitan Police to drop all charges against Anonno Mamun and Shaheen Mridha has been circulated online. Sign the petition here .

 

 

J'Accuse...

Canadian film distributors justifiably accused of censoring Roman Polanski's J'accuse


Link Here20th June 2020
J'accuse is a 2019 France / Italy historical thriller by Roman Polanski.
Starring Jean Dujardin, Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Seigner. IMDb

In 1894, French Captain Alfred Dreyfus is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's island.

Just rior to the coronavirus lockdown Quebec's major distributors announced they would ban cinema showings of Roman Polanski's J'accuse ( An Officer and a Spy ), whether out of fear of reprisals from the #MeToo campaign or in deference to the movement's anti-democratic arguments. News of the ban susbequently got lost as the cinemas weren't open to notice that the film wasn't being screened.

It should be noted that despite the efforts of the Macron government and #MeToo's feminists to intimidate audiences and have J'accuse banned, the film was extremely popular in France--by the end of February 1.5 million people had viewed it in that country.

Polanski's film is a truthful and poignant reconstruction of the Dreyfus Affair that shook French society between 1894 and 1906. The case concerned a French army captain of Jewish origin, Alfred Dreyfus, who was falsely accused of espionage and imprisoned.

An article in the Quebec daily newspaper Le Devoir, published at the end of February under the headline Director Roman Polanski, persona non grata in Quebec, shows the kind of anti-democratic conceptions that have penetrated the world of cinema and the arts. Encouraged by large sections of the ruling elite, including the Democratic Party in the United States and Justin Trudeau's Canadian federal government, the #MeToo campaign has served to undermine fundamental democratic principles, such as the presumption of innocence and due process.

As in France, the viewing public in Quebec is largely in favour of the film being shown. The thirty or so comments under the article in Le Devoir all opposed the reactionary argument that one could not separate the work from the author and demanded that Quebec distributors reconsider their decision. Many compared the censorship exercised by the #MeToo campaign and Quebec distributors to the censorship exercised by the Catholic Church during the era of Quebec history from the mid-1930s to the late 1950s known as the Great Darkness, when the Catholic clergy exercised stifling control over culture, education and social mores and the ultraconservative government of Maurice Duplessis promoted reaction and used state violence to suppress an increasingly militant working class.

 

 

Hate Crime...

BBFC banned film set for a US VoD and DVD re-release


Link Here21st May 2020
Hate Crime is a 2013 USA action horror thriller by James Cullen Bressack.
Starring Jody Barton, Nicholas Clark and Greg Depetro. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

A Jewish family, that just arrived in a new neighborhood, are recording their youngest son's birthday celebrations on video when their home is suddenly invaded by a bunch of crystal-meth-crazed Neo-Nazi lunatics.

Hate Crime received the rare accolade of a BBFC ban for the film's DVD release in 2015. Now in 2020 the film is set for re-release (presumably only in the US).

The first two films from director James Cullen Bressack are getting the re-release treatment later this year on VOD and DVD: My Pure Joy and Hate Crime.

 

 

Rafiki remains banned...

Kenyan high court upholds the film censor's violation of constitutional rights to freedom of expression


Link Here30th April 2020
Full story: Film Censorship in Kenya...Ban happy KFCB particularly for gay themese

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

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.

Rafiki was banned by Kenya's moralist film censor in April 2018 for its gay themes. The film makers have been pursuing the censorship through the courts, on the grounds that Kenya's constitution includes the right to artistic freedom of expression.

But now the High Court of Kenya has upheld the violation of the film makers' rights to freedom of expression ruling that the film's ban:

Does not in any way violate Artistic Freedom of Expression, but instead protect the society from moral decay

Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu expressed disappointment in the court's decision:

We are disappointed of course. But I strongly believe in the constitution and we are not going to give u. I think it is very important for us to define what freedom of expression means in Kenya as per our constitution. We are going to appeal. The ruling today is not a true reflection of what the constitution says.

 

 

Commented: Love Camp 7...

The British Board of Film Censors bans 1969 video nasty for the second time


Link Here14th April 2020
Love Camp 7 is a 1969 USA war horror thriller by Lee Frost.
With Bob Cresse, Maria Lease and Kathy Williams. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The film was banned as a video nasty in 1985, then banned from DVD by the BBFC in 2002. The film was banned again by the BBFC for 2020 VoD. Uncut elsewhere but there have only been a few obscure releases until the 2017 US DVD/Blu-ray Combo.

See further details at Melon Farmers Film Bans: Love Camp 7

The film has just been banned by the BBFC after being submitted for Video on Demand by Screenbound. Note that this is not quite an official ban as BBFC decisions for internet video carry no legal weight. But no doubt the major online sources will take heed anyway.

The BBFC commented on its website:

Love Camp 7 is a US film, from 1969, in which female agents are sent undercover into a Nazi prison camp where female prisoners are sexually abused, raped and tortured by soldiers. It was previously refused a classification for DVD release in 2002. The present submission is for distribution on VOD.

The BBFC's Classification Guidelines state that We may refuse to classify content which makes rape or other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour look appealing or acceptable, reinforces the suggestion that victims enjoy such behaviour, or invites viewer complicity in such behaviour. They also state that As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. We may do so, for example, where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on sexual rape, other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour or sadistic violence.

Because LOVE CAMP 7 is largely comprised of scenes of non consensual sexual activity, including rape, presented in a manner that is intended to arouse viewers, its central concept is unacceptable and the sexually abusive material it contains too pervasive for cuts to be an effective solution.

Accordingly, the BBFC has refused classification to this work.

The BBFC further commented at a board meeting [pdf] :

The film was recently submitted for classification for VOD release. Given its status as a previously rejected work it was viewed by the entire Compliance team and certain members of the Policy team before referral to the Board.

The Board noted that there are a number of prolonged scenes of non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, in Love Camp 7 , in many cases featuring a focus on female nudity. Such scenes are frequently gratuitous, both in terms of length and detail, going some way beyond what is required by the narrative, and in some cases perpetuating harmful rape myths. These issues were considered in relation to the BBFC's 2019 Guidelines consultation, which found depictions of sexual violence to be of particular concern to the public.

The Board discussed the extent to which the film's datedness and risibility limits its impact, and considered the film's likely appeal and audience. It was observed that, while aspects of the film are dated, the sequences of sexual violence and abuse are not. It was also noted that while the film is different in many respects to modern pornography, its close and repeated focus on nudity means the sequences of sexual violence and abuse still have the potential to arouse.

The Board concluded that because that as Love Camp 7 is largely comprised non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, presented in a manner that is intended to arouse viewers, its central concept is unacceptable and the sexually abusive material too pervasive for cuts to be an effective solution. Accordingly, the Board agreed that the BBFC should refuse to classify Love Camp 7.

Update: Love Camp 7 Remains The Benchmark For Unacceptable Cinema in 2020

14th April 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com

It's good to know that in these unique times, our moral superiors are still hard at work protecting us from problematic imagery. The British Board of Film Classification might seem a more liberal body these days than they once did, but rest assured -- they will still step forward to protect the nation from corruption.

See full article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Shooter...

Indian movie banned in Punjab and Haryana


Link Here26th February 2020
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence

Shooter is a 2020 India action film by Inderjit Singh
Starring Jayy Randhawa. BBFC link IMDb

Following in the steps of the Indian state of Punjab, the Haryana state government has imposed a ban on the screening of the Punjabi movie Shooter- based on the life and crimes of notorious gangster Sukha Kahlwan.

As per the order issued by Vijai Vardhan, additional chief secretary (home), the suspension of screening/exhibition of the movie in the state shall remain in force for two months.

Filmmaker Kewal Singh has filed a petition within the High Court stating that the Punjab authorities has banned its launch on February 10 with out seeing the movie. The movie has not but been issued a certificates by the censor board and neither has the movie been seen. T

Earlier the Punjab authorities banned this movie claiming that the movie is selling violence, crime and gang tradition, which may promote crime in Punjab.

In the UK the film was passed 15 uncut for strong bloody violence, brief drug misuse.

 

 

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan...

Gay Bollywood comedy banned in UAE and Kenya


Link Here22nd February 2020
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is a 2020 India gay comedy by Hitesh Kewalya.
Starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Jitendra Kumar and Gajraj Rao. BBFC link IMDb

Presenting the life of two gay men who are in love, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan depicts their struggle to convince their families to accept the relationship. But things are never as easy as they seem and one of the boy`s family decides to get him married to a girl. Will their `unconventional` love prevail?

A major Bollywood gay film has been banned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Touted as India's first gay male romantic comedy, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Be Extra Careful About Marriage) stars popular actor Ayushmann Khurrana as an openly gay man, who battles traditional attitudes to be with his boyfriend.

Film director Hitesh Kewalya said: Yes, it's banned adding that he had no further details about the move.

Meanwhile the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Ezekiel Mutua has also banned the screening of Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan'. In a statement he maintained that the 'gay-themed is not in line with Kenyan constitution and the institution of family, hence the decision to ban its screening. He added:

The film is worse than the ones we have banned in the past as it has scenes involving children in homosexual practices and openly attempts to legitimize same-sex marriage.

Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya. Further, Kenya is a God-fearing nation which places a great premium on family, an institution derived from a union between two people of the opposite gender.

Kenya will not be the dumping ground for all manner of filth that seeks to destroy the institution of family and our cultural identity.

For comparison the film was passed 12A uncut by the BBFC for implied strong language, suicide references, discrimination theme

 

 

Socially sustainable censorship...

Netflix lists movies that it has banned in countries at the request of their governments


Link Here8th February 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Netflix has reported on the moves and TV shows that it has banned at the request of governments. Netflix writes:

We offer creators the ability to reach audiences all around the world. However, our catalog varies from country to country, including for rights reasons (i.e., we don't have the rights to show everything in every country where we operate). In some cases we've also been forced to remove specific titles or episodes of titles in specific countries due to government takedown demands.

Below are the titles we've removed to date, as of February 2020 -- just nine in total since we launched. Beginning next year, we will report these takedowns annually.

  • In 2015, Netflix complied with the New Zealand Film and Video Labeling Body to remove The Bridge . The film is classified as "objectionable" in the country.
  • In 2017, Netflix complied with Vietnamese Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) to remove Full Metal Jacket.
  • In 2017, Netflix complied with the German Commission for Youth Protection (KJM) to remove Night of the Living Dead . A version of the film is also banned in the country. There's a discussion of exactly which version is banned in a German language article from schnittberichte.com
  • In 2018, Netflix complied with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to remove Cooking on High (TV series about cooking with cannabis) , The Legend of 420 (a comedy documentary about cannabis) , and Disjointed (TV series about cannabis) from the service in Singapore only.
  • In 2019, Netflix complied with the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission to remove one episode -- "Saudi Arabia" -- from Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (comedy TV news, talk show) .
  • In 2019, Netflix complied with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to remove The Last Temptation of Christ.
  • In 2020, Netflix complied with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to remove The Last Hangover . This is the Brazilian TV comedy about a gay Christ that proved controversial in Brazil.

 

 

The End Will Be Spectacular...

But the film won't be seen in Kurdistan


Link Here8th January 2020
The End Will Be Spectacular is a 2019 Syria war film by Ersin «elik.
Starring ArjÓn Baysal, Arif DemÓr and Sahire Ozhan. IMDb

Zilan, a young woman, returns to her hometown looking for the traces of his dead brother, killed by the Islamic State. But her town is not what it used to be: social and political tensions have escalated into a state of war. The people have risen to demand their political autonomy and the police and army repress them with brutal force. But the city's resistance will go on for more than 100 days and Zilan will not remain a passive witness. Based on the diaries of those who died fighting and the testimony of survivors, who enact the protagonists of the film, «elik's first feature explores concepts such as hope, friendship, sacrifice and loss in the struggle for freedom of a group of young people.

A film based on the real-life resistance of Kurdish youth in Turkey was banned by Sulaimani's security forces just a day before its Kurdistan premiere.

Ji Bo Azadiye (The End Will be Spectacular) , directed by Kurdish filmmaker Ersin Celik was pulled by Sulamani Asayesh (security forces) from the premiere at Sulaimani's Salim Cinema.

The film team and cinema staff have criticised the cancellation of the screening, which has been shown abroad but now cannot be seen by a Kurdistan Region audience.

First premiering at Calcutta's 25th International Film Festival in November, the production has received positive responses from foreign audiences. The film will next be screened in Rotterdam, Holland in January.


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