Censor boards in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have informed Paramount they will not release the Biblical epic which is release later this month. Similar rulings are expected in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait, according to Paramount insiders.
The National Media Council (NMC), the UAE film censor, confirmed that the film had been banned for reasons of religious intolerance. Juma Obaid Al Leem, director of the Media Content Tracking Department at the NMC said:
The film conflicts with all religions. Out of respect for these religious sentiments, we are banning the film.
In Egypt, the leading Sunni Muslim institute Al-Azhar issued a statement condemning the movie, saying it should be banned in that country.
Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah's prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [the religious character Muhammad], the statement read. Therefore, Al-Azhar announces the prohibition of
the upcoming film about the Allah's messenger Noah.
The film was not without censorship issues in the US. The studio was said to be concerned that the director's version may not go down well with the religious. However screenings with test audiences did not convince the studio that was a need for change.
So the original director's version got the go ahead. However as a gesture of goodwill toward religious groups, Paramount agreed to alter the marketing materials for Noah to make clear that it is a creative rather than a literal adaptation of the Bible
story. A disclaimer was added to posters:
The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of
Noah can be found in the Book of Genesis.
Indonesia's film-censorship board has banned Darren Aronofsky's upcoming movie Noah on the grounds that it showed an image of Noah who is considered to be a prophet in the religion of islam.
The censorship board defended its decision claiming that the film was against religious teachings and values. Zainut Tauhid Sa'adi, a member of the board, told the Indonesian news portal Detik.com:
We have our own authority. We adjust it in accordance with society's values which uphold religious and unity values. We won't just follow in the footsteps of another country.
The chairman of the censorship board said the story presented in Noah ran counter to the relevant verses in the religious book, the Koran. Mukhlis Paeni told the Indonesian news portal Merdeka.com:
There are many considerations. The first thing is the content of Noah is against our beliefs or not according to the story in the holy book.
Respected Indonesian film director Joko Anwar criticized the country's Film Censorship Board (LSF) for its narrow-minded ban:
If there is a fear that the film will cause unrest and protest from some groups then the government should create a situation conducive to people growing up instead of always limiting them to a narrow-minded condition.
We don't need to get worried about a movie which they claim might corrupt religious teachings. Nowadays, with the easy access to YouTube, banning a movie is a waste of effort. Secondly, if we are talking about film, we should see it as a work of art. Art
is an interpretation of the filmmaker, so it should not be banned.
Noah is a 2014 USA adventure drama by Darren Aronofsky.
With Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins.
A home ministry official has confirmed that Noah will not be screened in Malaysia. Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, chairman of the home ministry's Film Censorship Board, said the decision to ban the film was made about two weeks ago. He said:
Yes, I can confirm that it has been banned by the board, the movie can cause quite a lot of anger and distress if it is shown in Malaysia.
Abdul Halim said the main reason for the ban was the portrayal of Noah by Crowe, since Islam forbids visual depictions of any prophet.
China has banned the release of biblical epic Noah starring Russell Crowe.
Paramount Pictures tried to secure a release slot but getting the Bible-based story past China's cinematic censors was stymied due to Beijing's sensitivities on religious issues. A source told the Hollywood Reporter:
This was for religious reasons, though it seems the whole issue was quite complicated.
The LA Times cited a source who suggested Noah may also have been refused a Chinese release for commercial reasons due to proximity with several other Hollywood releases.