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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Censors ban elderly love scene
Temple in Seoul
Religious beliefs mean sex is taboo to some elderly people
A South Korean film about a romance between an elderly couple has been declared "unfit for public viewing" by the country's censors - despite being a hit at Cannes.

Romantic drama Too Young To Die - about a real-life couple in their 70s - received rave reviews in the non-competitive section of the French festival earlier this year.

The Korea Media Rating Board objects to a seven-minute long scene showing the couple making love.

Director Park Jin-pyo calls the scene - filmed in an empty room with just a camera and the actual couple - "the most beautiful love in the world", and is refusing to edit or blur the scene.

"To the couple, making love is evidence they are alive," he said.

Authentic


It shows the active lovemaking scenes of an old couple, that's all

Former censor
Cho Young-kag
"Will viewers accept it as authentic if there are no shots of them making love, oral sex, and the exposure of a male sexual organ?"

Park is now appealing against the decision, on the grounds that the sequence is integral to the telling of the story.

The film features widower Park Chi-gyu, 72, and Lee Sun-ye, a 71-year-old widow. After years of loneliness, they met at a senior citizens' centre and fell in love and married.

It shows how he taught his new wife to read and she taught him to sing - and how the couple rediscovered their sex life.

'Beautiful love'

But despite Park's insistence that he is showing a "beautiful love", censored banned the scenes, fearing it would give the green light for other films to feature explicit scenes.

But three censors resigned over the issue, including Cho Young-kag.

"It shows the active lovemaking scenes of an old couple, that's all," he said.

Film critic Jeon Chan-il also backed the director.

"With our society changing fast, I am almost sure that the film has no problem as far as public viewing, contrary to the censors' worries," he said.

See also:

26 May 02 | Entertainment
26 May 02 | Entertainment
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