“All the scenes of kiss, love and oral sex between men have been cut.” After a screening of Rocketman for the Russian press on Friday, many film critics have revealed that some parts of the biopic dedicated to Elton John, have been censored. It comes to the love scenes of homosexual and consumption of drugs. The distributor of the film has confirmed to have made these changes for legal reasons, without providing further details.
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Presented at the Cannes film festival, Rocketman traces the rise of Elton John, one of the first singers to be openly gay, and his fight against addictions (drugs, sex, alcohol). “We reject in the strongest terms the decision of censor Rocketman to the Russian market,” wrote the Uk on Twitter and Facebook. “The fact that the local distributor has deemed it necessary to remove certain scenes, preventing the public from seeing the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world in which we live yet and the cruel way that he accepts so little of the love between two people,” he added.
no one under 18 years of age
In a statement, the NGO Amnesty International has denounced a case of “censorship” that “dehumanizes same-sex relationships” and called for the release of the original version of the film in the name of respect for the rights of sexual minorities. The company distributing Rocketman in Russia, Central Partnership, has confirmed to the state news agency TASS that the film had been changed to “respect the Russian laws”.
Since 2013, a law prescribes a fine or prison for any act of “propaganda” homosexual to minors. However, it is difficult to know if it applies to the film, which will be banned at least 18 years of age at the time of its release scheduled for next week in Russia. The Russian minister of Culture Vladimir Medinski has denied that his ministry is at the origin of these cuts, arguing, quoted by the news agency Ria Novosti, that “everything is decided by the distributor”.
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According to the critic Anton Doline, the message that appears at the end of the film has also been amended: whereas the original text reminds us that Elton John has found love and raised two children with a person of the same sex, the Russian version says only that he has created an association against aids. Other movies with love scenes homosexual, of which Bohemian Rhapsody the recent biopic about the leader of Queen Freddy Mercury, has already been screened in Russia, without cuts.
Elton John is popular in Russia, where it has happened for the first time in 1979 during the soviet period. The singer has shown, however, its criticism of Russian laws, seen as discriminatory against homosexuals.