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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 22nd 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

 

 

The BBFC: censors without a soul...

8 councils have now overruled the BBFC and awarded a local 12A rating to the documentary, A Northern Soul


Link Here 18th September 2018
Full story: A Northern Soul...Director takes issue with the BBFC 15 rating
Eight local councils have now decided to overturn a film's BBFC 15 age rating so younger viewers can watch it.

The documentary A Northern Soul was rated 15 by the BBFC for strong language. The BBFC commented:

It  includes around 20 uses of strong language and therefore exceeds by some margin anything we have ever permitted at 12A.

The film follows Steve, who struggles to make ends meet as he tries to teach hip-hop to children in Hull schools with his Beats Bus.

So far, licensing committees in Hull, Lambeth, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Southampton, Hackney and Calderdale have downgraded A Northern Soul from a 15 to a 12A.

Phil Bates, licensing manager at Southampton City Council, said he viewed the film differently because it's a documentary rather than a drama. He explained:

We can see why BBFC awarded a 15 rating, although equally we can see why other authorities have also granted it a 12A.

The use of profane language is fairly infrequent, some of it was used at a time of stress but there were occasions when it was used as everyday language. As this is a fly-on-the-wall style film, showing life as it is, rather than a scripted film where the language is used for effect, we felt the film warranted a 12A.

Director Sean McAllister spoke of the councils' decisions: I think they're responding as human beings. He added that Steve's language was credible and real and culturally embedded within how he speaks. He continued:

The irony is that the motivation for making this film and the heart of why this film should be seen has got the thing censored.

When people actually see it, everyone's saying 'where's the swearing?' They [the BBFC] have done a word count, which is an F count, and they've simply censored it based on that. And they've got to get over that.

When in Mission Impossible people are having their heads blown off and 12As are being granted, the whole thing is hypocritical, backward and needs reassessing. Language not used for effect

The BBFC repeated its mantra that its classification guidelines are the result of a large scale public consultation designed to reflect broad public opinion across the UK. Bit in reality the 'large scale' part of its public consultation asks a few broad brush questions about whether people generally agree with the BBFC about ratings. The questions do not offer any more nuanced insight into what people think about swearing in the context of everyday parlance of some working people. 

 

 

Faith in censorship...

Lebanon bans the horror movie, The Nun


Link Here 18th September 2018
Full story: Banned Films in Lebanon...Beirut Hotel
The Nun is a 2018 USA horror mystery thriller by Corin Hardy.
Starring Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons and Charlotte Hope. BBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order's unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in 'The Conjuring 2,' as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

Lebanon's film censors have banned the new horror movie, The Nun, from a cinema release. The censors claimed that the film was offensive to the Christian faith.

The Warner Bros production was awaiting a screening licence from the General Security's censorship committee ahead of an expected release on 6 September. However last Wednesday, the Catholic committee watched the movie and asked the General Security to ban it in Lebanon for religious reasons.

It is unclear which scenes caused 'the offence', but some believe the ban may stem from the victimisation of nuns in the film.

According to the constitution, multi-religious Lebanon can impose censorship on local and international productions for a number of reasons. These include banning films for stirring religious and political sensitivities as well as those with sexually explicit content.

 

 

Smallfoot, the latest film to suffer category cuts for cinema release...

Yetis go out in search of humans, strange and mythical creatures that can be reduced to a blubbering heap by the sound of a four letter word


Link Here 16th September 2018
Smallfoot is a 2018 USA children's cartoon comedy by Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig (co-director).
Starring Zendaya, Channing Tatum and Gina Rodriguez. BBFC link IMDb

The film has just been passed U for very mild threat, rude humour, language after BBFC category cuts for 2018 cinema release.

The film was originally passed PG uncut for infrequent mild bad language, but 10 days later the film was passed U after a cut for category.

The BBFC commented:

  • Company chose to remove a single use of mild bad language ('crap') in order to obtain a U classification. An uncut PG classification was available.

Summary Notes

A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as "humans" really do exist.

 

 

True Git...

Sunday morning westerns on TV end in Turkey over bad relations with Donald Trump


Link Here 16th September 2018
The decades-long Turkish tradition of watching a classic American cowboy film on Sunday morning came to an end in August 2018, with state-run broadcaster TRT giving them the boot as US-Turkey relations deteriorate.

American Westerns have been shown at 9.55am on Sundays since the 1980s; according to NRT News , the John Wayne film Big Jake that aired on 19 August was the last.

TRT will now show films supported by the Turkish Ministry of Culture in that timeslot.

The change comes after a diplomatic dispute over US pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest on charges relating to the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.

Arab News says the decision comes after the Turkish media censor, Radio and Television Supreme Council, warned about the expansion of American imperialism and culture through movies.

 

 

BBFC slashes its rating...

John Carpenter's Halloween just downrated to 15 for cinema release


Link Here 14th September 2018
Halloween is a 1978 USA horror by John Carpenter.
Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tony Moran. BBFC link IMDb

John Carpenter's Halloween has just been passed 15 uncut for strong threat, violence, nudity for 2018 cinema release.

It has always been uncut in the UK and US. It was 18 rated until 2018, when it was passed 15 for a cinema release.

The previous BBFC 18 rating has been widely questioned for some time now. It seems to compare with 15 rated horrors rather than 18 rated horrors, but perhaps the quality filmmaking makes it a bit more scary than if judged by the violence you actually see.

The film has not yet been submitted for reconsideration on video, so is still nominally 18 rated for 2018 home video releases.

Uncut and MPAA R rated in the US. There is also an Extended TV cut.

 

 

Offsite Article: Snuff...


Link Here 11th September 2018
Banned as a video nasty, perhaps falsely affirming the notion that it was a real snuff movie

See article from thelondoneconomic.com

 

 

Culturally backward Thurrock Council...

Two films banned from the Thurrock International 'Celebration' of Culture film festival


Link Here 8th September 2018
Jungle Love is a 2012 Philippines drama by Sherad Anthony Sanchez.
Starring Gloria Morales, Mei Bastes and Martin Riffer. IMDb

A jungle in an undisclosed Philippine location hosts a middle-aged woman who runs off with a baby, two juveniles lost in sexual games, military cadets leisurely wandering about and a guide with an obscure presence. All consumed with the game of their own lives until the jungle comes to play.

The film won an Honorable Mention (Feature Film), at the Porn Film Festival Berlin 2013.

Shadows of Fiendish Ancestress and Occasionally Parajanov on Durian Cialis is a 2017 Singapore / Japan / Philippines romance by Tze Chuan Chew.
Starring Raissa Ai, Karla MC Bautista and Paolo Dumlao. IMDb

With reference to native historical texts and the mythological and religious depiction of the Holy Whore, Chew constructs a mythology of a hermaphrodite who comes to town to impart a wisdom that proves to be too carnal and untimely. Years in the making and strung together with documentary-like footage of orgiastic happenings, punctuated with moments of refrain into randomness, the film soon escalates into a schizophrenic psychedelia of multicultural and polymorphous sexuality.

Two films that were set to be showcased at a film festival in Grays have been banned by Thurrock Council.

The Thurrock International Celebration of Film runs from September 6th to 9th at the Thameside Theatre in Grays

The organisers were stunned to hear that council has refused them permission to screen two of the planned films. One of the festival organisers, Hi Ching, explained what has happened. He said: T

Thurrock Council has banned the films Jungle Love and Shadows Of Fiendish Ancestress And Occasionally Parajanov On Durian Cialis (pictured right) from being screened at the TIC Film Festival at Thameside Theatre because an initial assessment suggests both films would be rated R18 and therefore can only be shown in licensed sex premises.

In both films, sexuality does indeed play a central role, but the BBFC explanatory notes state that the R18 rating is normally intended for works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation of the viewer. These two films do anything but -- and moreover, a rating of suitable only for 18 years and over was already in place in order to make sure that only adults would be able to see these films.

Both films have been screened at other film festivals around the world. One reviewer summed up that Jungle Love accomplishes the nearly impossible task of turning what could be a lewd and perverted showcase into a mirror of our innate desire to venture into the unknown, to abandon the clutches of good taste, and to get lost in the limitless jungle where men are but beasts among other beasts.

By banning these two films, Thurrock Council have the dubious honour of joining these two countries and doing exactly what they have done: performing censorship and stifling discussion. Both films require serious discussion about opportunities and limits of filmic representation of sexuality -- but with its decision, Thurrock Council tried to make such a discussion impossible.

Councillor Deborah Huelin, Portfolio Holder for Communities, said:

Thurrock Council is supporting the film festival taking place at the Thameside by Thurrock International Celebration of Culture (TICC) by providing the Thameside Theatre as a venue.

The film programme includes a number of short and full length films that aim to celebrate diversity. Most of the films have not been given a rating by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) and in such cases responsibility for issuing ratings for films to be shown in a local area lies with the local authority.

Based on an initial review by the council, it was identified that two of the films could likely be rated R18 if a full assessment were carried out under the guidelines issued by the BBFC. These types of films can only be shown in specially licensed sex cinemas or supplied by licensed sex shops. The entertainment license for the Thameside Theatre does not allow them to show R18 films which means that these two films cannot form part of the festival.

Shadows Of Fiendish Ancestress And Occasionally Parajanov On Durian Cialis had previously been banned in Singapore in 2017. The picture had been scheduled to have its world premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival, part of the Singapore Media Festival , this week. But it was this week denied a public release certificate by Films Appeal Committee, on the grounds that it could hurt Muslim religious feelings.

 


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