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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
India censors clear Da Vinci Code
Indian Christians at a rally in Mumbai
The film has angered many Christians
Controversial Hollywood film The Da Vinci Code has been cleared for release in India after protests by Christians.

Censors gave it an adult rating but said disclaimers stating it was fiction were needed at the beginning and end.

Officials and Catholic leaders had a special viewing of the film on Wednesday after the broadcasting minister received over 200 complaints.

Some find offensive the film's theory that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and their descendants survive today.

The film received its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday to mixed reviews.


India's Central Board of Film Certification had already cleared the film on Monday, saying it would give it an adult rating if the film-makers agreed to a disclaimer at the start of the movie saying it was a work of fiction.

Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks in a still from The Da Vinci Code film
The film stars Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks

They have now called for a similar disclaimer at the end.

It is still unclear whether the film will open in India as planned on Friday, the day of its worldwide release, as the board has said it will wait for a response from Sony Pictures before formally issuing a certificate.

Sony Pictures, the distributors, were unavailable for comment.

The film, which stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou and is directed by Ron Howard, is based on the novel by Dan Brown.

The blockbuster has caused outrage among Christian organisations around the world, including senior officials at the Vatican.

Court case

In India, which is home to 18 million Catholics, Catholic Secular Forum head Joseph Dias went on hunger strike to try to have the film banned.

His organisation has described The Da Vinci Code as "offensive" because it breaches "certain basic foundations of the religion".

He is suing the heads of Sony Films and the censor board for "hurting religious sentiments". The Mumbai (Bombay) High Court will hear the case on Friday.

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