Fifty Shades of Grey has been on the tip of every tongue just lately it seems, be it bad or good ramblings. Millions of viewers flocked to see Mr. Grey beating his lover on the big screens and romanticising his behaviours, willing themselves to be in the shoes of the sex slave that is Ana. But is it too hot for some countries?
This film opened in cinemas just last week in over 57 markets worldwide. It is currently being shown at a UK rating of 18, R rating in USA and only over 21’s in Singapore because of the risky material that makes up the majority of the plot for the movie. In France the movie has a worryingly low rating of 12.
While the film has been well received and posed no problems with sales in some countries, not all are happy to allow the film to be shown at all due to its graphic and unhealthy content. China are not receiving a theatrical release, as sexually graphic films are not usually able to make it past Chinese Government censors. Fifty Shades has also been banned from theatrical release in Kenya, who also have a history of denying films with too high a graphic sexual content. Kenyan authorities also previously banned the The Wolf of Wall Street for this reason and also its scenes of heavy drug use. Indonesia censorship boards also banned Fifty Shades for being too sexually graphic.
The Malaysian censorship board were quick to ban it from being viewed in theatres and mentioned that their reason for this was that the film was merely ‘more pornography than a movie’. The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) have also upped and banned Fifty Shades from being played throughout Nigeria, removing the title from the list of movies showing throughout their cinemas. Cambodia had also refused to play the movie in their theatres again due to its mature themes and sexual scenes. Also, it has been reported that the North Caucasus region of Russia has banned the film.
Papua New Guinea refused to give censorship due to the graphic content, which resulted in the movie being banned for viewing. In a turn of events, an online campaign was set up by Kari Taviri in repose to Fifty Shades named ‘Fifty Kina, Not 50 Shades’, which aims to raise money for the victims of domestic abuse, urging people to donate the money that would have been used for the price of a ticket to see the offending blockbuster. Taviri remarked that PNG have a real issue with domestic abuse, so allowing screenings of the film would only increase the issue.
Although not banned in United Arab Emirates at present, the National Media Council (NMC) have decided to stall the release of Fifty Shades due to the graphic material. The film is currently under censor review and it was found that the decision to pull it back from release was due to the council’s decision to cut 35 minutes of material out of the film. The Wolf of Wall Street also received movie cuts of roughly 45 minutes before being released due to similar circumstances in the films material. The UAE censors also banned films such as Black Swan and Love and Other Drugs for ‘excessive sexual content’. Zimbabwe have allowed viewing of the blockbuster, but only after cuts were made for some of the sexier scenes.
The book had also received bans from several countries, so the whole issue doesn’t concern the author of the trilogy, E.L. James, who deems it as ‘great publicity’ and is hopeful that fans who are currently unable to watch Fifty Shades will be able to once the film is out on DVD and Blu-Ray. The film is a lot tamer than the book and, while it is being banned in many countries, it is still welcomed by the majority of countries. Fans of the movie in countries where the movie is not banned are currently hopeful of the books sequels also making it onto the big screen. However, Universal have not yet stated this will be the case.
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