Beauty and the Beast is a 2017 USA family musical romance by Bill Condon. Starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans.
Disney's animated classic takes on a new form, with a
widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.
Malaysian censors ordered cuts to the cinema release of Beauty and the Beast, removing what its creators say is a gay moment. Even after the cuts, the censors imposed a P13 rating (a 13A in UK terms). But according to a media
report, Walt Disney decided anyway to shelve the film's Thursday release in the country.
Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told The Star Online the film has been approved with a P13 parental guidance
classification, with a minor cut.
Since 2010 Malaysia's film censorship rules allow the depiction of gay characters, but only if those characters show repentance or are portrayed in a negative light.
Meanwhile the Russian government has
opted to give the film a rather unviable 16+ rating, a restrictive rating preventing children below that age from seeing the film.
Vyacheslav Telnov, director of the Culture Ministry's cinema department, told Russian entertainment site
We will issue the film distribution license without any problems. The minimum age is 16+.
A 2013 Russian law bans promotion of homosexuality among minors. The law describes
homosexuality as non-traditional sexual relations.
Beauty and the Beast opened in Kuwait last week with a PG-13 rating, but by this week, the nation's government-owned cinema company, which runs 11 out of the 13 theaters in the Persian Gulf country, announced that all screenings had been canceled
and offered a full refund to anyone who had purchased a ticket.
One board member of the National Cinema Co. told the Associated Press:
We were requested to stop the screening and further censor the movie for
things that were deemed offensive by the Ministry of Information's censorship department.
At issue, apparently, is a scene in which a supporting character, LeFou, is depicted as having a romantic fascination for Gaston and is shown
dancing with another man in a ballroom scene said to be three seconds long.
Lipstick Under My Burkha is a 2016 India drama by Alankrita Shrivastava. Starring Shashank Arora, Plabita Borthakur and Sonal Jha.
Set in the crowded by-lanes of small town India,
Lipstick Under My Burkha chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom. Though stifled and trapped in their worlds, these four women claim their desires through small acts of courage and stealthy rebellion.
Lipstick Under My Burkha has been deemed too
lady oriented in content by the Indian film censors from the CBFC. The board banned the film complaining about continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a sensitive touch about one particular section of society.
this is also a film that won a gender equality award at the Mumbai film fest last year, and recently won the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival. The film will now be the opening movie at the 15th edition of Indian Film Festival of Los
Angeles (IFFLA). The festival will be held from April 5-9 in Los Angeles.
Amnesty International India have now criticised the censors asking them not to indulge in moral policing . Commenting on the bans of Lipstick Under My Burkha and
the gay film Ka Bodyscapes, Amnesty said:
The recent denial of theatrical release to two films because they deal with women's sexuality and same-sex relations amounts to open censorship of artistic expression.
Ka Bodyscapes is a 2016 India / USA gay drama by Jayan Cherian. Starring Adhithi, Tinto Arayani and Arundhathi.
Three young people, Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a
rural kabaddi player and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.
Ka Bodyscapes was originally banned by the Indian film
censors of the CBFC in July 2016.
The distributors challenged the ban in court resulting in a September 2016 court order for the censors to explain their ban and to consider possible cuts instead.
But the CBFC decided to appeal against the
court order and re-affirmed their ban in March 2017. A 2nd Revising Committee from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to certify the Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes, saying it glorified the subject of gay and homosexual
relationship and portrayed the Hindu religion in a derogatory manner by showing Hanuman in poor light as gay . It also objected to the portrayal of a Muslim woman masturbating.
Russian officials are coming under pressure to check if Disney's new film Beauty and the Beast breaches the country's discriminatory law against gay propaganda .
Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said action would be taken after the
checks while an MP described the film as shameless propaganda of sin .
The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast features Disney's first ever gay character and love scene. Director Bill Condon has spoken of an exclusively gay moment
in Beauty and the Beast. It involves LeFou, who is a sidekick of the film's main antagonist Gaston. LeFou, played by US actor Josh Gad, tries to come to terms with feelings for Gaston that swing between lust and admiration, as a side-plot to
the main story.
In another groundbreaking moment, the film is to feature the first interracial kiss in a Disney live-action film.
Vitaly Milonov, an MP of the governing United Russia party, urged the culture minister to hold a screening of
the film before it was released to see if it complied with the law and to take measures to totally ban it if he found elements of propaganda of homosexuality . Vitaly Milonov is one of the main supporter of the Russian law of 2013
But don't think that Russia is singularly homophobic country who is whingeing at the film. A cinema in the USA is also refusing to show the films for homophobic reasons. The owners of the Henagar Drive-In in Alabama explained:
It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out, When companies continually force their views on us we need to take
a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine.
For those that do not know 'Beauty and the Beast' is 'premiering' their first homosexual character 206 If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to
see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.
I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That's fine. We are
first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches.
India's gay community have celebrated a small victory over the film censors of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
India's censorship appeal board, the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has overturned 10s of cuts specified
by the CBFC before granting a music video a U/A (PG) certificate. The video, Miss You by Friends of Linger, would otherwise by A (18) rated which would bar the film from TV, which was the whole point of the video.
In a period of around
ten minutes on 25th January, the FCAT watched the video, read the appeal, discussed it, posed a few questions and then said the appeal was successful.
The band's front man, Sharif Ranganekar, wrote:
The FCAT in effect turned this tiny song into a moment that could be viewed as a shift in acceptance of gay content in mainstream television. However small the shift might be, it could well be an indication of
something bigger that many LGBTQs are hoping for. If we place this against the backdrop of hostility, hate, right-wing politics and the patiently-awaited Supreme Court verdict, the FCAT's conclusion to overturn a CBFC order is not very small. It could be
a precedent, a filmmaker out of Mumbai told me. Some gay activists felt the occasion should be celebrated and the song performed at gay parties.
The video is probably the first of its kind in the Indian context. Two men in love,
the love lost to marriage and the recollection of a relationship is what made this video a story to tell. When Manav Malvai, the director, showed me the story-board, I was sure we had a sensitive script. But the CBFC thought otherwise. In response to our
mid-September (2016) application, we received an A certificate. Of course, this meant that the video would never get to TV in India. I did not accept this and filed an application seeking a review.
The CBFC returned with a UA
with cuts response on October 21 . What the censors found objectionable was a ten-second shot of two men -- Pran Saikia and myself -- lying in bed only in shorts. Mind you, we were neither making love or even hugging each other. It was a scene of
separation and hardly intimate -- a word used by the CBFC.
By then, even sections of the press hinted that the CBFC was homophobic but this was denied. At that time, Miss You had become incidental to what was a
larger issue of acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
Finally, after viewing the video, the FCAT showed a fairness that one hopes is reflective of a changing time. They used the word sensitive to describe the video, relevant
for its content and the ten seconds that the CBFC had wanted cut as intrinsic to the narrative.