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Last Updated:  Monday, 3 March, 2003, 10:28 GMT
Malaysia bans female screen kiss
The Hours
Meryl Streep's character is based on Mrs Dalloway
Footage of women kissing each other in Oscar-nominated movie The Hours has been banned by film censors from being shown in Malaysia.

The head of the country's Film Censorship Board said it was protecting "the interests of the country and people from bad influences and negative elements shown in films".

The Hours, based around three women whose lives are linked to Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs Dalloway, sees actresses Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore kiss other women.

But the censorship move was criticised by members of the Malaysian film industry for being too prudish for modern audiences.

"It's irritating because we go to cinemas to see films in their totality," said Malaysian movie producer Dominique Hee.

'Frustrating'

"We're not dumb. We know when censors have cut out chunks of a movie."

And Francis Dass, a newspaper entertainment critic, added: "The censorship board should review its procedures to recognise that Malaysian cinema lovers have matured.

"For urban viewers, the censorship guidelines are extremely outdated and frustrating."

However the chairman of the film censor board, Shaari Mohamad Noor, said they tried to "minimise cuts and save every film".

Daredevil banned

"But censorship is a very subjective matter, so some people might not understand our reasons," he said.

Another Hollywood movie, Daredevil, has been banned completely from Malaysian cinemas.

The government said the superhero movie, which stars Ben Affleck, was "too violent" and encouraged youngsters to "hero worship someone with a devil-sounding name".

Daredevil is not the first high-profile movie to be banned in the mostly Muslim nation.

Stephen Spielberg's Holocaust film Schindler's List was deemed Zionist propaganda while The Prince of Egypt, an animated epic about Moses, was "insensitive for religious reasons".

The spy spoof Zoolander was also banned - for portraying a plot to assassinate a Malaysian prime minister.




SEE ALSO:
Malaysia bans Affleck's Daredevil
14 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Trio shine in The Hours
10 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Ben Stiller comedy upsets Malaysia
27 Sep 01 |  Entertainment
Malaysia bans Austin Powers
12 Jul 99 |  Entertainment


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