Singapore restricts release of Oscar contender The Kids Are All Right

2011-02-16 09:12

Singapore – Singapore’s film censors had restricted the showing of a lesbian-themed, Oscar-nominated film, in a move that shocked the local cinema scene, a media report said today.

The Board of Film Censors rated The Kids Are All Right as category R21, applying to “films that may contain adult issues, themes and more explicit scenes”, and limited its release to one single print, the Straits Times newspaper reported.

The US comedy drama directed by Lisa Cholodenko about a lesbian couple that meets the man who fathered their children received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Leading Actress for Annette Bening.

According to the board’s film classification guidelines, “films should not promote or normalise a homosexual lifestyle”.

“The majority of the members agreed with the board that the film ... has exceeded the film classification guidelines,” the board said in a letter to the film distributor, quoted by the newspaper.

It said it made a concession to allow the film’s release, rather than to ban it.

Members of the local film scene were shocked by the board’s decision.

“That’s ridiculous. I’m shocked. This has never happened before,” the report quoted filmmaker Eric Khoo as saying.

“I thought we had grown up. I am flabbergasted,” said Lesley Ho, former director of the Singapore International Film Festival.

Other movies with homosexual themes, including Brokeback Mountain and A Single Man, were also rated R21, but without further conditions imposed.

The government has said that it recognised homosexuals as part of the city-state’s society, but they were not accepted by most citizens.

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