Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 09:03 UK

Ukraine ban for 'explicit' Bruno

Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno
Bruno is currently topping the box office in both the US and UK

Bruno has fallen foul of the censors in Ukraine, who claim Sacha Baron Cohen's raucous new comedy could "damage the morality" of its citizens.

The Ukrainian ministry of culture told local film distributor Sinergia it had "decided to ban all showings of this film on Ukrainian territory".

Bruno, it said, "contains unjustified showing of genital organs".

In addition, the film depicts what the ministry calls "homosexual perversions" in an "explicitly realist manner".

Rated 18 in the UK, Bruno sees Cohen playing a gay Austrian fashion reporter who travels to the US to make his name.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has warned audiences the film contains "strong sex and sex references".

'Artistically unjustified'

Cohen's previous comedy, Borat, was denied a distribution licence in Russia for poking fun at its neighbour and close ally Kazakhstan.

However, it is Bruno's treatment of homosexuality that has enraged officials of the conservative Ukraine.

Nine members of the culture ministry's 14-person commission voted for a total ban of the film, currently topping the box office chart on both sides of the Atlantic.

The commission cited the film's "artistically unjustified exhibition of sexual organs and sexual relations, homosexual acts in a blatantly graphic form, obscene language, sadism [and] anti-social behaviour" as the reasons behind its decision.

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