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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
China bans film over gay themes
Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code was removed from China's cinemas
A South Korean hit film has been banned from cinemas in China because of its homosexual subtext.

Censors also decided against passing The King and the Clown due to sexually explicit language, distributors CJ Entertainment told Reuters news agency.

The film, which implies a love triangle involving a 16th Century king and two male court jesters, has taken more than 46m at South Korean cinemas.

Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder in China until 2001.

Lingering looks

A CJ Entertainment spokesman said the Chinese authorities had given it permission to distribute The King and the Clown on DVD.

Censors in China have also deemed gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain too controversial to be shown in the country where homosexuality is a taboo.

The film contains no explicit sex scenes, while the king exchanges lingering looks with a clown and share a brief on-screen kiss.

Some 12m tickets have been sold for the film in South Korea, which has a population of 48m people.

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