Cen­sor Board’s scis­sors out for gay drama Moon­light

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Abhinav Verma abhinav.verma@htlive.com

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

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