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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Film withdrawn from many cinemas after religious protests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

 

 

House On The Edge Of The Park...

1980 Italian video nasty by Ruggero Deodato just passed 18 uncut by the BBFC


Link Here20th May 2022
House On The Edge Of The Park is a 1980 Italy horror thriller by Ruggero Deodato
Starring David Hess, Annie Belle and Christian Borromeo BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Alex, a psychopathic mechanic, rapes a woman in the park. Later, a debauched couple pull into his shop needing car repair. They invite Alex and his mentally challenged buddy to join them at a decadent suburban party. Once there, Alex amuses himself by raping the guests and tormenting them in various ways.

House on the Edge of the Park has just been passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for an 88 Films release advertised as the Uncut Nasty Edition.

The film has a long history of censorship in the UK:

Banned by the BBFC for 1981 cinema release. Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Unbanned after 12 minutes of cuts in 2002. Cuts reduced to 43s in 2011, and then uncut for 2022 Blu-ray. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US.

Versions

BBFC cut
cut:
run: 91m
pal: 87m
18UK: Passed 18 uncut for sexual violence, sadistic violence, strong threat:
  • 2022 88 Films video
Set for Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray release in late 2022 in a release advertised as the Uncut Nasty Edition.
BBFC cut
cut
cut: 43s
run: 91:23s
pal: 87:44s
18UK: Passed 18 for strong sexual violence and threat after 43s of BBFC cuts for:
  • 2014 Shameless [Deadato's Cinema of Death set] R2 DVD
  • 2011 Argent/Shameless R0 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Company was required to make cuts to one sequence of sexualised violence in which a razor is traced over a woman's naked body, after which her body is cut with the razor.

According to Shameless, the BBFC originally asked for 16 cuts totalling 1:20s. The BBFC was asked to think again, and it reduced the cuts by 37s, leaving 43s still cut.

The waived cut was 37s to the sex scene between Alex and Lisa which had previously been cut due to the questionability of whether or not Lisa is enjoying her ordeal.

See article from dvdcompare.net . The 43s of cuts are to remove:

  • sight of razor being traced between woman's breasts.
  • sight of razor being traced over woman's breast and nipple.
  • sight of razor being traced over woman's breasts and nipples.
  • sight of razor being traced over woman's breast and nipple and over her body.
  • sight of razor being traced over woman's stomach, with her breast visible.
  • sight of razor being eased inside woman's jeans.
  • As man approaches woman with razor blade, remove all sight of breast and arm being slashed with razor.
  • all sight of razor cutting woman's breast and arm.
  • all sight of razor cutting woman's breast and arm (again).
  • all sight of razor cutting woman's breast and arm (again, for a third time).
  • close sight of razor cutting woman's leg, next to her genitals.
  • close sight of razor cutting woman's leg, next to her genitals (again).
  • sight of razor cutting down woman's body, between her breasts.
BBFC cut
cut
cut: 11:43s
run: 79:15s
pal: 76:05s
18UK: Passed 18 after 11:43s of BBFC cuts for:
  • 2009 Cornerstone R2 DVD
  • 2002 Protected/Vipco R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts required to several sequences of sexual violence, humiliating depictions of female nudity and gross violence

From IMDb:

  • BBFC removed most of the rape and assault scenes
  • heavily edited the razor-slashing of Cindy
  • heavily edited the opening murder scene
  • removed shots of Tony's head being slammed against a table.
uncut
uncut
Video Nasty DPP 39UK: Released uncut on pre-cert video for:
  • 1982 Skyline VHS

Released in October 1982, it was listed as a video nasty in July 1983. It stayed on the list throughout the panic so became one of the collectable DPP39s

banned
banned
rejected

New Zealand flag
New Zealand

UK: Banned by the BBFC for:
  • 1981 cinema release

New Zealand: Banned for a 2014 re-release

 

 

Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast episode 110: Recent dark superhero films...


Link Here 13th May 2022
The BBFC discusses the controversially high age rating for The Batman

See article from bbfc.co.uk


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