Elton John slams Russian censorship of Rocketman’s gay sex scenes


Updated

June 02, 2019 11:07:37

Singer Sir Elton John has criticised the cutting of gay sex scenes in Russian screenings of Rocketman — a movie about his turbulent road to fame.

Key points:

  • Reports say five minutes of scenes were cut from the film
  • Russian film distributors say they are complying with local laws and that there were no specific demands put on the distributor to change the film
  • Sir Elton’s statement said the censorship was “a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in”

A joint statement by Sir Elton and the filmmakers said they were unaware that scenes featuring gay sex and drug use would be removed from the film at a screening in Moscow.

“That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people,” the statement said.

Reports say five minutes of scenes were cut from the film.

The film’s Russian distributors say they are complying with local laws.

Speaking to the Russian news agency Tass, Olga Lyubimova from the local film distributor Central Partnership said there were no specific demands put on the distributor to change the film.

“You know perfectly well that numerous Western and Russian films are related to the problem of drug use… it would be wrong to say that we are engaging in any form of censorship,” she said.

However, she added that films are expected to comply with Russian laws on “paedophilia, ethnic and religious hatred and pornography”.

Film critic Anton Dolin took to Facebook to call out the censorship in the movie, saying that “all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out”.

“The film removed only 5 minutes, but it is very noticeable,” he wrote.

“This is a fundamental five minutes, very important for artistic design.

“The nastiest part is that the final caption has been removed from the finale,” he added, referencing a tribute to Sir Elton’s husband.

Sir Elton’s statement said he and the filmmakers believed that “building bridges and open dialogue”, would “continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world”.

The film delves into Sir Elton’s sexuality and relationship with then-manager John Reid.

It stars Taron Egerton who does all his own singing as Sir Elton in the musical fantasy that captures the essence of the singer’s life.

Rocketman is in cinemas now.

ABC/AP

Topics:

film-movies,

arts-and-entertainment,

industry,

film,

biography-film,

lgbt,

community-and-society,

russian-federation

First posted

June 02, 2019 10:41:22



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