Censors Ban ‘The Danish Girl’ in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Elsewhere
There are plenty of good reasons to ban The Danish Girl, most of them having to do with Tom Hooper’s direction. (Take it easy with the Dutch angles, Hoop. We get it. You’re an artist.) Unfortunately, the censors in middle eastern nations currently removing the Eddie Redmayne-starring film have not been doing so out of any sense of aesthetic obligation, but rather troubling social mores. Though Hooper’s insistence on lingering in graceless close-up for interminable stretches of runtime is clearly the most offensive aspect of the film, the controversial transgender subject material has ruffled the wrong governmental feathers.
A newly posted item on The Hollywood Reporter notes that state-sanctioned agencies in Qatar, Oman, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain have all forcibly pulled The Danish Girl from theatrical exhibition. The biopic of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe screened in Kuwaiti cinemas from Thursday through Sunday before agents of the Ministry of Culture banned the film, with The Doha News confirming that all future showings have been cancelled.
The Danish Girl is not the only film with rabblerousing content to have run afoul of middle eastern censors. THR notes that U.A.E. censors had a real stick up their asses over 50 Shades of Grey, aggrieved mostly by the insertion of non-stick objects into other asses. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah was struck down on religious grounds, having broken Islamic taboos by visual displaying a prophet. And the exhilaratingly profane The Wolf of Wall Street did indeed make it past the censors, but only after having ditched approximately forty-five minutes of footage. For middle eastern moviegoers’ sakes, we can only hope that the ‘luudes trip made it in unscathed.