Censor Board’s scissors out for gay drama Moonlight
Never mind the aesthetic quality of a film, even an Oscar-nominated film. Nothing escapes the chopping block of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), aka Censor Board. Not when the fragile and pure Indian culture needs saving from those horrible scenes of homosexuality.
The Oscar-nominated Moonlight will come to India neatly sliced and trimmed as per the Censor Board’s sensibilities. “I don’t care what other people think. It’s our job to decide what is appropriate — or not — for our culture. If we think that the content doesn’t fit in with the culture of the country, then we shall remove it,” says Pahlaj Nihalani, Chairperson of CBFC and the man with the sharpest scissors in India.
Moonlight chronicles the life of a black youth in a rough part of Miami; the film also goes deep into the psyche of being homosexual. It’s a top contender for the Best Picture award at the Oscars.
Sex scenes integral to the plot, along with words such as “bitches”, “m ***** f ***** ” and “d***” have been cut. “This is regressive,” says Onir, the filmmaker who’s also openly gay. “It’s the viewers’ choice as to what they want to watch. This is also about a black man trying to understand the psyche of a gay man.” Director Madhur Bhandarkar asks, “What’s the point of an ‘A’ certificate if you still chop it?”
I don’t care what other people think. It’s our job to decide what is appropriate — or not — for our culture PAHLAJ NIHALANI, CHAIRMAN, CBFC
A still from the film Moonlight