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Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
Censors cut Bardem movie
Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem as Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls
The UK's film censors have ordered the makers of Oscar-nominated film Before Night Falls to cut a scene containing animal cruelty.

The British Board of Film Classification, which classifies films and videos in the UK, said the scene breached the law on animal safety.

It is the first time in four years that the BBFC has cut a scene from a film for breaching rules on animal cruelty.

Amores Perros
Amores Perros: Passed uncut by the BBFC

The cut scene takes place in prison and involves the capture of a bird by an inmate.

The bird appears to have been lassoed around the neck with a rope and, as it tries to escape, is pulled through a hole in the roof of the cellblock.

The BBFC thinks the bird is clearly distressed and says it did not receive adequate assurances from the bird's trainer about the way it had been treated during filming.

Therefore it ordered the scene to be cut before giving the film a 15 certificate.

Brutal

Before Night Falls is a drama about the life of the gay Cuban poet and writer Reinaldo Arenas (Javier Bardem) who fell foul of the Castro regime in the 60s.

Bardem was nominated for an Oscar for his role, and many industry pundits believe he should have won.

Another film to cause controversy for featuring animal cruelty - in the form of brutal dogfights - was the Mexican movie Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch).

The RSPCA campaigned against the film, but director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was quick to point out that every precaution was taken to protect the animals.

The film's animal trainer "used his own dogs, so he cared about them," he said.

The BBFC eventually passed Amores Perros without any cuts, but with an 18 certificate.

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See also:

18 May 01 | Reviews
Dogs take lead in Mexican drama
29 Mar 01 | Film
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26 Feb 01 | Entertainment
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24 Feb 01 | Entertainment
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14 Sep 00 | Entertainment
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