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 Offsite Article: FSK film censors...


Link Here 8th December 2017
fsk 18 large An overview of film censorship in Germany

See article from translate.google.com

 

 Updated: Injustice in Lebanon and Palestine...

Justice League has been banned by Lebanon as Wonder Woman is unwelcome in the country


Link Here 7th December 2017
Justice League DVD Justice League is a 2017 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Zack Snyder.
Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa. IMDb
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his new found ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of met humans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes; Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash, it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Last year, Lebanon banned the Wonder Woman movie because its star, Gal Gadot, had served in the Israeli forces under the country’s national service. Gadot's two years of service coincided with the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, one of many wars and conflicts the bitter rivals have been involved in over the decades.

With Justice League , also starring Gal Gadot in the same role, opening in local cinemas on Thursday, activists want the government to do the same. Activist Pierre Abi Saab has accused the promoters of the film of ignoring Lebanese laws that he said outlaw all forms of normalisation of ties with Israel.

It has now been reported that this campaign has been successful and that, yes, Justice League has been officially banned in Lebanon.

Update: Ramallah

7th December 2017 See  article from jpost.com

Palestine Cinema Tower, Palestinians' largest film distributor, banned the film Justice League in Ramallah for violating censorship rules.

The decisions was made after local protest was sparked by a viral campaign built all in Arabic focusing on Israeli actress Gal Gadot's nationality and role as Wonder Woman.

It is not yet clear whether the ban will extend to other cities in Palestine.

 

  The 15:17 to Paris...

Warner Brothers appeal to the MPAA for a PG-13 rating for their latest Clint Eastwood film


Link Here 6th December 2017
15 17 to parisThe 15:17 To Paris is a 2018 USA drama by Clint Eastwood.
Starring Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer and Jaleel White. IMDb

American soldiers discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train.

The Warner Bros film was submitted to the MPAA in December 2017 and was rated R for a sequence of violence and bloody images. The distributors are now appealing to the CARA Appeals Board, presumably seeking a PG-13 rating.

 

  Game of Ayodhya...

Another Indian film becomes the focus for religious violence


Link Here 6th December 2017
games of ayodhyaBack in 1992, Hindu fanatics numbering 150,000 demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya because the site was considered by some to be Ram Janmabhoomi, the actual birthplace of the god Rama. The demolition resulted in several months of intercommunal rioting between India's Hindu and Muslim communities, causing the death of at least 2,000 people.

The incident inspired Indian movie director Sunil Singh, above, to make a movie called Games of Ayodhya , due for release on December 8 -- and zealots now want him dead.

His home in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, was vandalised by right-wing Hindu activists on Sunday and Yogesh Varshney, city president of Hindu Jagran Manch in Aligarh said that they would not allow the movie, which narrates a love story between a Hindu man and a Muslim woman in Ayodhya at the time of Babri Masjid demolition, to be released in the city. He said:

Today we have blackened the wall of Singh's house. If he doesn't back down, we will kill him.

One activist announced a bounty for chopping the arms of the director whilst another has gone a step ahead and offered a reward to anyone who beheads the director.

The movie was originally banned by the film censors of the CBFC, but was later cleared by the Film Cerification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

 

 Extract: Right speak...

UK caste group urges the BBFC to find the 'right' historians who can watch the film Padmavati and stop the character assassination of Indian icons.


Link Here 4th December 2017
raijput samaj logoPadmavati is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. BBFC link IMDb

Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji's lustful eyes gazed upon Queen Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And, the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.

Rajput is an hindu caste of India, and Rajput Samaj of UK is a London based group of made up from the local community of the Indian caste. The group seems somewhat offended by the movie Padmavati  and have started a move to try and ensure that the movie is not screened in the UK. They are at pains to mention that they will be expressing their views only through peaceful means, rather hinting that an expectation of recourse to violence is not far below the surface.

The Rajput Samaj of UK wrote to the BBFC pointing out that Padmavati is a revered figure in India and that she represented national pride, rather like the figure of King Arthur in Britain. The Samaj claimed in its letter that the directors of the film had tried to glorify Alauddin Khilji and that such efforts were similar to glorifying ISIS terrorists. They went on to add We must stand up against the glamorisation of plundering, looting, and other barbaric acts, rather in keeping with the extremist view in India that sees its Muslim rulers who ruled for well-nigh 800 years, as plunderers and looters. It urged BBFC to find the right historians who can watch the film and stop the character assassination of Indian icons.

...Read the article from magtheweekly.com for perhaps the best understanding for Brits about what is essentially an Indian argument.

 

  More objectionable than anything else...

New Zealand film censor publishes its annual report noting that 'banned' is its most common rating


Link Here 30th November 2017
oflc annual report 2017 The New Zealand media censors at the Office or Film and Literature Classification have just released their annual report. It includes the interesting observation that its 'banned' category is the most common category used in the year under review:

The most common classification in the last financial year was objectionable, meaning banned. This is a result of a large increase in material being submitted by enforcement agencies. This has coincided with a decrease in commercial submissions.

Along with films, DVD/Blu-rays and games, the Classification Office classifies a variety of material, including computer files submitted by enforcement agencies like Customs, Police, and the Department of Internal Affairs. In fact computer files make up the great majority of material banned by the Classification Office. Most of these publications were banned for promoting or supporting the sexual exploitation of children and young people.

Apart from that the New Zealand again has a knock at the government for not giving the censors remit over content streamed online:

It is now more important than ever that New Zealanders have the tools and information to allow everyone to take advantage of the freedom and opportunity the digital revolution represents -- while being smart about managing the downsides.

Regulation is lagging behind -- our system does not recognise the changes in the way New Zealanders now consume media. New Zealanders have increasingly borne the consequences of a confusing and out of date approach. The evidence is mounting about the impacts of consuming violent and graphic media, and technology keeps raising the stakes -- virtual reality and immersive media are now making an impact.

 

  The Nile Hilton Incident...

Egyptian police enforce ban on movie thriller set in Egypt


Link Here 30th November 2017
The Nile Hilton Incident DVD The Nile Hilton Incident is a 2017 Sweden / Denmark / Germany / France crime thriller by Tarik Saleh.
Starring Fares Fares, Mari Malek and Yasser Ali Maher. IMDb

Set against the backdrop of the Egyptian Revolution, the thriller features a police officer who investigates the murder of a woman. What initially seems to be a killing of a prostitute turns into a more complicated case involving the very elite of Egypt.

Egyptian police raided a tiny alternative film venue in Cairo last week to prevent the screening of a thriller critical of law enforcement that has been banned.

The officers prevented The Nile Hilton Incident from being played in a makeshift, 25-seat theatre because it was a downloaded copy that didn't have government permission to be shown.

The film, by Swedish-Egyptian director Tarik Saleh, is a murder mystery set in Egypt that addresses abuse of power and police corruption. It has won several accolades abroad, including the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

But it has not been allowed to screen at either the current festival or November's smaller, Panorama of the European Film festival, also in Cairo. The ban echoes last year's action against Last Days of the City by Egyptian director Tamer El Said, whose film was feted abroad but blocked from cinemas in Egypt.

 

 Updated: Overruling the BBFC...

The Indian film Padmavati has been delayed from release in India over religious and nationalist controversy. The BBFC passed the film 12A uncut for UK release but violent threat may prove to be a higher authority


Link Here 28th November 2017
Poster Padmavati 2017 Sanjay Leela Bhansali Padmavati is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. BBFC link IMDb

Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji's lustful eyes gazed upon Queen Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And, the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.

Producers of a Bollywood period epic have indefinitely delayed its release following countrywide protests by Hindu right-wing and caste groups.

The epic in Awadhi language extols the virtue of Padmavati who committed sati, the practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre, to protect her honour from the invading Muslim emperor Khilji who had killed her husband, the Rajput king, in a battle.

Sati is believed to have originated some 700 years ago among the ruling class or Rajputs in India. The Rajput women burnt themselves after their men were defeated in battles to avoid being taken by the victors. But it came to be seen as a measure of wifely devotion in later years. The custom was outlawed by India's British rulers in 1829 following demands by Indian reformers.

Historians point out that Jayasi's epic ballad about a Muslim emperor attacking a kingdom smitten by the beauty of a Hindu queen was written in the 16th Century, more than 200 years after the historical record of the invasion. They say the folklore around Padmavati have also been problematic as they have glorified sati.

Rumours of a scene in the film of the Muslim king dreaming of getting romantic with the Hindu queen enraged many like the Rajput Karnik Sena, a fringe caste group, who have called for the film to be banned. Director Bhansali has said the film does not feature such dream sequence at all .

Last week, the group, which had disrupted the shooting and slapped Bhansali on the set of the film earlier this year, vandalised cinemas , and threatened to chop off Padukone's nose, referring to a story in the epic Ramayana where a character has her nose chopped off as punishment.

Rajput community members have burnt effigies of Bhansali and sought a ban of the film. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has said it should not be released until necessary changes are made so that sentiments of any community are not hurt.

A regional leader of the BJP at the weekend announced a reward of nearly $1.5m for anyone beheading Bhansali and Padukone .

Update: BBFC Rating

BBFC logo 23rd November 2017. See article from bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC has published its rating for the British cinema release of Padmavati. The film is rated 12A uncut for moderate violence, injury detail.

Update: Former Indian film censor claims that the BBFC is acting illegally in passing the film for UK release

24th November 2017 See article from timesnownews.com

pahlaj-nihalaniFormer Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani has claimed that the BBFC decision of certifying the movie Padmavati is illegal.

In an interview with ANI, Nihalani said that for a film to get certification overseas, it's a must that it is passed by the Indian Censor Board. If they've got a thumbs up from Britain without even sending the film, it's against the law.

He added that the BBC has no control over the release of an Indian film. If the film is released outside India, it will eventually be pirated to India, he said.

Meanwhile, a petition seeking orders to the makers to not release the film outside India on December 1, has been filed in the Supreme Court.

Back home, Padmavati has been postponed for an indefinite period of time owing to the furious protests against it by the fringe groups - Rajasthan-based Rajput Karni Sena in particular. The groups are protesting an alleged romantic sequence between Padmavati (based on the legend of Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh) and Mughal Emperor Alauddin Khilji. Some fanatic groups are also incensed with the fact that Rani Padmavati has been shown dancing in the film asserting that Rajput maharanis never danced in front of anyone.

Update: Violent Indian nationalists call for British cinemas to be burnt down

24th November 2017 See  article from independent.co.uk

rajput karni sena white logoBritish cinemas that screen a controversial new Bollywood blockbuster should be burned down, the leader of a hardline Hindu nationalist group has claimed.

Members of the Rajput Karni Sena, a group associated with the warrior Rajput caste, claim it misrepresents history by depicting a love affair between the queen and a Muslim invader. The group is further upset that the queen's midriff is exposed in a song sequence.

Now the leader of Rajput Karni Sena, Sukhdev Singh has called for action to be taken in the UK. He told Republic TV:

I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there. I have told them any cinema hall which screens the movie will be burnt.

Update: Safety of Paramount concern

28th November 2017 See article from theguardian.com

paramount logoBritish film distributors are reconsidering the release of Padmavati. In the face of the ongoing controversy, the British distributor, Paramount Pictures, said the UK release date was being reviewed, amid reports that producers wanted to clarify the situation in India before making a decision abroad. It had been due to come out from 1 December.

A London-based Hindu campaign group, Rajput Samaj of UK, declared its opposition to the BBFC's decision to certify the film for release and said it would hold a peaceful protest over what it sees as a historically inaccurate account of Padmini. It told the Guardian that it did not want the film to be released but claimed that it was opposed to any violence.

The call from the charity for the film to lose its certification comes after a fringe rightwing group in India threatened violence if UK cinemas showed the film.

The Indian supreme court had agreed to hear a petition next week asking that the film's UK release be banned. Lawyers said it was unlikely the court could prevent an overseas debut, though the film's producers have already said they would await the Indian censor's approval before distributing the movie worldwide.

ragasthan association logoUpdate: UK Courts

28th November 2017 See article from theguardian.com

Another UK group is also attempting to get the UK release banned. The Rajasthan Association asked the BBFC about censoring the film, but the BBFC commendably responded that freedom of choice must be respected and that filmmakers are free to explore narratives based on historical events and to interpret them as they wish.

The Rajasthan Association was now mulling the option of approaching UK court in connection with the matter.

 

  Nut Jobs at the Australian Censorship Board...

Appeal board overturns the PG rating for Nut Job 2 and replaces it with a general audience G rating


Link Here 27th November 2017
The Nut Job 2 - Nutty By Nature DVD The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is a 2017 Canada / USA / South Korea family animation comedy by Cal Brunker.
Starring Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl and Maya Rudolph. IMDb

Surly and his friends, Buddy, Andie and Precious discover that the mayor of Oakton City is cracking one big hustle to build a giant yet quite-shabby amusement park, which in turn will bulldoze their home, which is the city park, and it's up to them and the rest of the park animals to stop the mayor, along with his daughter and a mad animal control officer from getting away with his scheme, and take back the park.

The Australian Review Board has overturned a PG rating from the Classification Board and replaced it with a general audience G rating (equivalent to a UK U rating). The Review Board explains:

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is classified G (General) with the consumer advice Some scenes may scare young children.

The Classification Guidelines provide that at the G category, violence and the treatment of themes should have a very low sense of threat or menace, and be justified by context.

In the Classification Review Board's opinion Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature warrants a G classification because its violence and treatment of themes are of a very mild impact. There are numerous scenes of unrealistic, animated violence which are all resolved with positive outcomes for the animals and are interspersed with humour and are relevant to the context. The theme of the park being destroyed for greed is overall a positive story about animals protecting their habitat and has a very mild sense of threat which is at all times relevant to the context.

The Classification Review Board convened today in response to an application from the original applicant, Roadshow Films to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 18 September 2017 to classify Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature PG with the consumer advice Mild themes and animated violence.

For comparison:

  • the UK BBFC rated the film as U uncut for mild comic threat, violence
  • the US MPAA rated the film PG for action and some rude humor.

 

 Offsite Article: Ulysses versus the censors...


Link Here 25th November 2017
Ulysses DVD Fifty years on from the Joyce movie that scandalised the world. By Donal Fallon, author and historian

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  Fuming...

French Senator calls on move makers to drop the iconic cigarette smoking


Link Here 21st November 2017
Coco Avant Chanel - DVD Many stylish and iconic French films have featured smoking, Jean-Paul Belmondo in A? Bout du Souffle Audrey Tautou in Coco Chanel , Jacques Tati was rarely without his pipe and Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve , Geard Depardieu and Alain Delon all puffed their way through decades of movies.

Hardly surprising then that a call for French directors to stub out smoking on screen has been greeted with a mix of disbelief and outright ridicule.

The debate was ignited after the Socialist senator Nadine Grelet-Certenais accused France's film-makers of continuing to advertise for the tobacco industry. Her remarks, made during a debate on the government's plan to raise the price of cigarettes and tobacco, sparked the interest of the health minister, Agnès Buzyn, who said she would talk to her cabinet colleague, the culture minister, Françoise Nyssen. Buzyn promised firm action saying:

I don't understand why the cigarette is so important in French cinema.

 

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