Posts Tagged 'film'

ST Forum: Why ban on Brides, Boy

11 April 2009
Straits Times Print Forum

Why ban on Brides, Boy

We refer to the article Six Films Out Of Film Fest (Life!, April 10).

The Board of Film Censors has classified about 191 films for this year’s Singapore International Films Festival. It has had to disallow two films Brides Of Allah (Shahida) and Boy as they exceed the film classification guidelines.

Brides Of Allah is a documentary which features interviews with Palestinian female terrorists who are in prison for suicide bombing attempts.

Owing to the sensitive nature of the film, the board consulted the Films Consultative Panel. The panel felt that the film is sensitive as the female terrorists did not seem to be remorseful and were determined to
perpetrate acts of violence should they have another opportunity.

The panel was concerned about the influence of such a film on those who are like-minded. They were also concerned that the documentary’s distorted view of Islam could lead to a misunderstanding of the religion and create fear about its teachings.

The film provides a platform for terrorists to champion their cause. The terrorists strongly express their hatred for non-Muslims and use religion to justify their acts of violence, asserting that they will be rewarded after death.

Films that portray terrorists or terrorist organisations in a positive light are disallowed under the film classification guidelines as they are against national interest.

The second film, Boy, revolves around a teenager who is attracted to a young dancer in a gay bar and ends up having a homosexual relationship with him. The film includes a prolonged and explicit homosexual love-making sequence between the teenager and the dancer.

The panel was also consulted about the film. Members felt that the film normalised homosexuality and that the homosexual scene was prolonged and explicit and filmed in a romanticised manner. The panel chairman, Mr Vijay Chandran, observed that ‘the homosexual love-making scene has exceeded the guidelines and the board, by allowing it, will shift the markers set by the community’.

The board agrees and hence Boy has not been passed for classification.

When the board assesses films, it looks at content and presentation as well as the context of scenes and their impact. Films such as Wendy And Lucy, The Wackness and Men’s Group have brief religiously sensitive utterances and they have been given the highest rating of R21.

While the board gives leeway to film festivals, it sees the need to signal that a discerning and mature mind is required to comprehend the context and use of such utterances. The other films which require edits have prolonged and explicit sequences that have far exceeded the film classification guidelines.

Amy Chua
Board of Film Censors

Embrace those who are different from you — Anthony Yeo

Source: The Sunday Times
1 June 2008

Embrace those who are different from you

In this fortnightly column on life issues, veteran psychotherapist Anthony Yeo talks about accepting differences in people

By Anthony Yeo, Life Lines

I watched Wilde, the movie portraying a part of Oscar Wilde’s lifestyle, and left feeling sad and discomfited.

The Wilde I had adored for his literary prowess and inimitable wit was in his time admired for his unique literary style and talent. His plays performed to sell-out audiences and were received with standing ovations at a time when Victorian England was characterised by reserved and restrained patrons of the arts. Continue reading ‘Embrace those who are different from you — Anthony Yeo’

‘A jihad for love’ screened in Turkey

Editor’s note: The film ‘A jihad for love’ was banned by Singapore’s Media Development Authority when the 2008 Singapore International Film Festival wanted to include it in its program.


Documentary About Muslim Homosexuals Screened at Turkish Film Festival

By Dorian Jones, Voice of America
Istanbul, 16 April 2008

At this year’s Istanbul International Film Festival, one of the major attractions is A Jihad for Love, a documentary about a taboo subject: homosexuality in Islamic countries. Homosexuality is strictly banned in most interpretations of the Koran. This is the first time the film is being screened in a Muslim country. For VOA, Dorian Jones reports from the festival. Continue reading ‘‘A jihad for love’ screened in Turkey’

‘A jihad for love’ banned in Singapore


Singapore censors say four films banned from film festival

Apr 4, 2008

SINGAPORE (AFP) — Four film documentaries, including one by a gay Muslim and another about terrorism, have been banned from being shown at Singapore’s film festival, the censor board said Saturday.

It said the films “exceed the Film Classification Guidelines”.

Board of Film Censors chairman Amy Chua said “Arabs and Terrorism” and another film, “David the Tolhildan”, were “disallowed on account of their sympathetic portrayal of organisations deemed terrorist organisations by many countries.”

Continue reading ‘‘A jihad for love’ banned in Singapore’

Film ‘Women Who Love Women: Conversations In Singapore’ passed


18 March 2008
Straits Times

Censors pass controversial film

A doumentary about lesbians has been cleared by the Board of Film Censors to screen in next month’s 21st Singapore International Film Festival.

Directed by Lim Mayling, Women Who Love Women: Conversations In Singapore has been given an R21 rating with no cuts.

It will be screened twice at Sinema@Old School on April 5, at 7pm and 9.15pm.

The 65-minute documentary revolves around three Singaporean women – Amanda Lee, 24, an undergraduate at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia; Sabrina Renee Chong, 40, a photographer; and Gea Swee Jean, 24, who works in business and IT marketing – talking candidly about their lives and loves. Continue reading ‘Film ‘Women Who Love Women: Conversations In Singapore’ passed’

Iran’s “diagnosed transsexuals”


25 February 2008
BBC News

Iran’s “diagnosed transsexuals”

Homosexual relationships are banned in Iran, but the country allows sex change operations and hundreds of men have elected for surgery to change their lives.

By Vanessa Barford BBC News

“He wants to kill me. He keeps telling me to come home so he can kill me. He had put rat poison in my tea.”

For Ali Askar, at age 24, the decision to become a woman came at a heavy cost. His father threatened to kill him if he went ahead with surgery.

Now renamed Negar, she says she would not have had the operation if she did not live in Iran. Continue reading ‘Iran’s “diagnosed transsexuals”’

Going gay, the Bollywood way

15 January 2008
The Times of India

Going gay, the Bollywood way


The character of a homosexual was often used in films either to provide the fun quotient or as an effort to deal with a sensitive subject.

This was because homosexuals were treated as queers. Now the scene is all set to change. Increasingly, the society has begun accepting them. With actors like Samir Soni, Harsh Chhaya and Irrfan happily playing the gay character, it is being felt that Bollywood is willing to change its stance.

Beginning of acceptability Madhur Bhandarkar, who first showed gays as normal people in his film Page 3, strongly feels that people are now more receptive to such subjects. Continue reading ‘Going gay, the Bollywood way’

Gay sex scenes in local movie ‘Solos’ censored

23 April 2007
The Associated Press

Singapore film festival pulls local movie after gay sex scenes censored
By Derrick Ho

SINGAPORE (AP) — A Singaporean movie about a homosexual relationship between a teacher and his 18-year-old student has been pulled from a local film festival after government censors said sex scenes from the film had to be cut.

Organizers of the Singapore International Film Festival and producers of “Solos” said Monday the film would be withdrawn from public screening in line with the festival’s policy of only showing uncensored films. Continue reading ‘Gay sex scenes in local movie ‘Solos’ censored’