Showing posts with label Film-Gay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Film-Gay. Show all posts

May 30, 2020

Pixar Films Bring Out "OUT" LGBT Characters are Welcome at Disney





 
NEW YORK (AP) — In Steven Clay Hunter’s 23 years as an animator at Pixar, he has drawn a seven-armed octopus, a Canadian daredevil and a wheezing toy penguin. But there were scenes he never expected to animate until he began working on his short, “Out.” 
Hunter wrote and directed the nine-minute Pixar film, which recently debuted on Disney+. It’s about a man named Greg who, while packing up to move, temporarily switches bodies with his dog, Jim. While frantically trying to hide evidence of his boyfriend, Manuel, Greg discovers the courage to reveal his sexual orientation to his parents.  
Greg, who’s loosely based on Hunter, is Pixar’s first LGBTQ protagonist. And while “Out” includes some more typically Pixar material (a pair of rainbow animals, a cameo from Wheezy of “Toy Story”), it features images never seen before in the 25 years of the studio, or in the longer history of Disney. Like when Greg and his boyfriend, Manuel, hug each other. 
“The first time I drew Greg and Manuel holding each other in the bedroom, I was bawling my face off,” says Hunter. “All this emotion came welling up because I realized I had been in animation for decades and I had never drawn that in my career. It just hit me.”
“Out” is a small movie on a streaming service, not one of Pixar’s global blockbusters. But it has already had an outsized impact and been celebrated as a milestone for inclusion in family entertainment. GLAAD called it “a huge step forward for the Walt Disney Company.”
(Pixar Animation Studios via AP)
“‘Out’ represents the best of Disney and Pixar’s legacy as a place for heartwarming stories about finding one’s own inner strength in the face of life’s challenges,” said Jeremy Blacklow, GLAAD’s director of entertainment media. 
From his home in Oakland, California, Hunter, a 51-year-old animator making his directorial debut, has humbly taken in the warm responses. He managed to meet his producer, Max Sachar, for a celebratory, socially distanced glass of rose last weekend. But he’s been reluctant to talk about such a personal film. 
“I felt like this was something I had to do,” said Hunter in one of his first interviews. “I didn’t come out until I was 27 and I’m 51 now, and I feel like I’m still dealing with it. You can’t hide who you are for half of your life and then not carry that baggage around. You’ve got to process it somehow. I got lucky enough to process it in the making of this movie.” 
It’s part joke, part truth that “Out” is labeled “based on a true story.” The first shot is of a magical dog and cat jumping through a rainbow. Hunter has had a dog named Jim but, naturally, hasn’t experienced a canine “Freaky Friday.” But the central story is autobiographical.
“The relationship of Manuel and Greg is something I went through,” he says. “I wasn’t out to my family and I was in a relationship but they didn’t know about him. It took a toll on our relationship and we ended up breaking up because of that. And that break-up led to me coming out to my family, over the phone in a conference room at Pixar.”
Hunter first came up with the idea of a coming-out film five years ago. But it was the Pixar SparkShorts program, which is meant to discover new voices and experiment with different techniques, that presented Hunter with an opportunity. After working on the Spark short “Purl,” he pitched “Out.” It was greenlit and finished by December. 
“It was cool that he was telling this coming out story but he was doing so while coming out as a filmmaker,” says Sachar. “It was really wonderful for everyone to be a part of and witness.”
LGBTQ characters have been increasingly appearing in Disney films but often do so fleetingly. Gaston’s sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad) was suggested to be gay in 2017’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” Pixar’s “Onward,” released earlier this year, featured what many consider Disney’s first outwardly gay animated character: a police officer voiced by Lena Waithe who refers to her girlfriend. Some Middle East nations banned the film.
“Out,” finally, is far more straightforward. It includes, for example, a tender kiss between Manuel and Greg. To animate it, Hunter approached Wendell Lee, the only other gay animator still at Pixar from Hunter’s early days with the company. 
“I just went to him and said, ‘You’ve got to animate this.’ And he was like, ‘Heck yeah,’” says Hunter. “I said: I want a kiss. I don’t want a peck.”
Hunter recently watched “Out” with his family, who live in Canada, over Zoom. It was a moment of connection that he hopes plays out similarly for others during quarantine. For young and old, gay and straight, “Out” is about being proud of who you are, whoever you are. 
Reflecting on the film’s significance, Hunter on Thursday noted the passing of playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer. “Out,” not coincidentally, came out on Harvey Milk Day. 
“We’re just an extension of that. We’re moving toward more visibility. It doesn’t mean we’re taking over. We’re just trying to tell our stories like everyone else,” says Hunter. “And we’re not going anywhere. We’re here to stay.”
___
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

May 22, 2020

Amazon (Goldwyn Films) Seems to Censor "God's Own Country" The Director Calls for Boycotts






                             Josh O'Connor,Francis Lee,Alec Secareanu


By Gwen Aviles

Francis Lee, the director of the film "God's Own Country," recanted his call for a boycott of Amazon for appearing to censor gay sex scenes from his 2017 film, stating that after investigation, he discovered that the film was not censored by Amazon, but was instead censored by the film's U.S. distributor, Samuel Goldwyn Films.

"After investigation God’s Own Country was not censored by @PrimeVideo (Amazon USA) but by the US distributor @GoldwynFilms who butchered the streaming version without consultation to get more ‘revenue’," Lee tweeted Wednesday. "The rental version of God’s Own Country on @PrimeVideo is the correct version of my film." 

Lee's tweets marked a reversal from those he posted earlier Wednesday, in which he accused Amazon of removing gay sex scenes from its film and stated that the version available on the platform is not the movie he "intended or made."

"Dear friends in USA, God’s Own Country appears to have been censored on @PrimeVideo (Amazon Prime)," Lee tweetedWednesday. "Until this is investigated please do not rent or buy on Amazon Prime."

A British drama starring Josh O'Connor and Alec Secăreanu, "God's Own Country" explores the relationship between a sheep farmer and a Romanian migrant worker. While it received widespread acclaim and was even heralded as a "Yorkshire Brokeback Mountain," according to critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was banned in some Arab and Eastern European countries for its sex scenes. 

Neither Amazon nor Samuel Goldwyn films responded to NBC News' request for comment regarding its alleged censorship of the movie, however, reviews of the movie on its site appeared to corroborate Lee's claim that those who watch the movie via Amazon Prime are presented with an abridged version.

"The movie itself is a good story; I am just disappointed in Amazon Prime for editing out certain scenes," read one review dated May 16. "Shame on you for censorship."

"This version on Amazon Prime is missing the graphic scenes, which really takes away from the film," read another, dated May 6.

This latest accusation of censorship coincided with a long-standing charge against Amazon for offering anti-LGBTQ content on its platforms. Last year, the company removed books about conversion therapy, which refers to efforts to change an LGBTQ person’s gender identity or sexual orientation and has been condemned by nearly every major health association, in response to global activism. And in 2018, the company removed a gay conversion therapy app from a religious group called Living Hope Ministries, which included anti-gay podcasts, articles and devotionals, following complaints from LGBTQ advocacy organizations.

Gwen Aviles 
Gwen Aviles is a trending news and culture reporter for NBC News. 

December 25, 2019

The Film About Love Has Shaken up Georgia....Love?


                              Georgian police officers stand guard in front of the Amirani cinema as far-right activists protest against the premiere screening of an Oscar-nominated Swedish-Georgian gay film in Tbilisi on November 8, 2019


"When I told my mother I was gay, she said I wish you were dead or had never existed at all. It's better not to have a son than to have someone like you."
Lasha, in his early twenties, has his arm around his partner Beka's waist. They are sitting together in a secluded park in Tbilisi.
These are not their real names because in Georgia gay couples often fear for their safety.
Discrimination against sexual orientation is illegal, but in reality, homophobia is commonplace in Georgia's conservative society. And frequently, gay people are victims of violence.




Media caption Then We Danced: The film that sparked protests
"If you are dressed differently people will start shouting 'pederasts' - to avoid it we have to blend in," Lasha explains. The term "pederast" is widely used in former Soviet countries to insult homosexuals.
"We have to lead a double life. We hide our faces every day in order not to cause aggression among people in the streets," adds Beka.

How the film was condemned as 'insult to Georgia'
Plenty of aggression was on display at the recent opening night of Georgia's first feature film about gay love.

A crowd of about 500 men tried to force their way into a cinema in Tbilisi's city center to disrupt the screening of the Swedish-Georgian production, And Then We Danced.
Georgian police officers stand guard in front of the Amirani cinema as far-right activists protest against the premiere screening of an Oscar-nominated Swedish-Georgian gay film in Tbilisi on

Police, many of them in riot gear, formed a line between protesters and the cinema entrance.
Protests at Georgia gay film premiere
Filmgoers were verbally, and in some instances physically, assaulted. Many of the protesters were wearing far-right insignia from the organization Georgian March. Twenty-seven people were arrested.
A woman is hurt during an anti-LGBTQ protest in Georgia in NovemberImage copyright Reuters
Image caption

Some people were hurt during the protest outside the cinema

Levan Vasadze, a well-known campaigner against LGBTQ events who was at the rally, said the film about two Georgian male dancers in love was an insult to the nation: "Shame on Georgia and on the government for allowing this historic shame on our dignity and Georgian traditions."
But Giorgi Tabagari, a leading voice in Georgia's LGBTQ community, argues the film is already helping to change public attitudes: "After criminals and drug addicts, we are at the bottom of the list when it comes to social acceptance. The film is having a huge impact on the Georgian public."
Giorgi TabagariBBC
I have seen a lot of public figures from culture, cinema and politics debating the issue. This was not the case two to three years ago
Giorgi Tabagari
Gay rights campaigner

The Georgian Orthodox Church, the most trusted institution in the country and a leading voice against the LGBT community, distanced itself from the violence.
However, the Church said the film was an attempt to change "the consciousness" of the Georgian public and ultimately legalize "the sin" of homosexuality.

The church is shaken by claims of homosexuality
Yet the Church has become embroiled in a homosexual scandal of its own. Just a few days before the film's release, the Georgian public was stunned when, on live television, a bishop accused senior clergy of engaging in homosexual acts.

A cross is held up outside the cinema showing the film And Then We Danced
Image caption
A cross is held up outside the cinema showing the film And Then We Danced
Bishop Petre Tsaava had just been ejected from the Holy Synod, the Georgian Orthodox Church's Executive Council.

He told reporters that the reason for his expulsion was because he had exposed a culture of "pederasty and homosexuality" among the Church leadership.
Georgia's Orthodox Church has denied all the allegations. Archpriest Andria Jaghmaidze said that any such behavior in the Church was "impossible" and told the BBC that anyone found guilty of misconduct would be suspended from the priesthood.
Father Andria Saria has no problem with homosexuality but believes there is no place for gay priests
But the BBC has spoken to a priest who says homosexuality is commonplace within the Church.
Father Andria Saria is among a small circle of priests who have chosen to speak out against what they say is hypocrisy within the clergy.

"We have many problems in the Church and one of them is homosexuality. It's the main problem that has become an open wound that needs to be treated," he told the BBC.
"We are not against individuals and their lifestyles, but when it comes to a person who wants to be part of the Church, the Church categorically forbids priests being homosexuals and we are fighting precisely against homosexuality becoming a norm in the Church."

'They're trying to destroy the Church'

In a statement, Georgian Orthodox Church spokesman Archpriest Andria Jaghmaidze said it was "impossible" for there to be any gay priests and that anyone found guilty of such misconduct "would be suspended from the priesthood".

Outside Tbilisi's Sameba Cathedral, many churchgoers believe the allegations are part of a power struggle between senior members of the clergy.

"Never in my 51 years of life could I ever have imagined [homosexuality] was possible in the Church," said Lamara Didebeli.
Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II is the most revered public figure in Georgia in charge of the Church since 1977
Aged 86, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II is the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church and the most revered public figure in Georgia

"They're trying everything to destroy the Georgian Orthodox Church but they won't succeed as long as our patriarch is alive."

Fellow churchgoer Giorgi Dundua admitted his surprise but said that even if it was happening it should be resolved within the Church. "We don't have the right to judge," he said.
Tamar Gurchiani, a human rights advocate and law professor at Ilia State University, believes Georgian society is largely in denial about homosexuality in the Church.

"Hate and homophobia is so strong that people don't really care about the facts and they don't want to find out the truth. Maybe it's because there are so many people in the government and in the Church who are themselves closeted."
Sameba Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi

For Lasha and Beka, the gay couple in the park, the idea of homosexuality in the Church is not news at all, just as homosexuality in society is a reality that has to be accepted.
"Priests are ordinary people," says Lasha. "Gay people exist everywhere, and of course they are in the Church as well. But in a country like Georgia, where this topic is taboo, they're hiding inside their clerical clothing."

They believe that as times change their country will become more comfortable with homosexuality and more gay Georgians will come out.


November 1, 2018

"Boy Erased" Fascinating Look at Gay Conversion Therapy


 


  
Theodore Pellerin and Lucas Hedges in “Boy Erased.”
Photo: Focus Features

“Boy Erased” deals with gay conversion therapy and also a culture and a way of life in which such a thing could make sense. It’s an immersion into a world and a mindset, both of which are foreign to most people that live in cities, but the foreignness makes it fascinating. To writer-director Joel Edgerton’s credit, “Boy Erased” is fair to people who think in this way, even as it exposes the bad things that can happen as a result.

The film is based on Garrard Conley’s memoir of growing up gay in Fundamentalist Arkansas. The names are changed, and so here we follow the story of Jared (Lucas Hedges), an intelligent kid whose mother seems like a meek church lady — except that she is played by Nicole Kidman, so she can’t stay meek for long — and his father is a Baptist preacher, played by the always formidable Russell Crowe.

On the surface, everything’s great. Jared has a girlfriend, and he is about to graduate high school. But the girlfriend is unable to persuade him to have sex with her; and Jared lives with the oppressive knowledge that his thoughts, fantasies and impulses define him as something wrong and perhaps evil in the belief system of everyone he knows, including his own parents. In such a context, how could he not think that he’s the one with the problem?

He might have gone on like this for a while, with his internal and external lives at cross-purposes, except that one day he is outed. The outing comes in the form of an anonymous phone call, and in the ensuing family discussion, Jared admits to having gay proclivities. So Dad gives him a choice, either to be cast out of the house as a deviant or to agree to get help in the form of conversion therapy. Understandably, Jared chooses to get help.


Joel Edgerton in “Boy Erased.”
Photo: Focus Features


As Jared, Hedges gives a measured, carefully scored performance, in that we can read the progress of his thinking just by watching his face over the course of the film. He starts off guilty and hopeful. Being gay has been nothing but a horrible strain and inconvenience, so if he can be transformed and jump back into the car with his girlfriend and a brand new attitude, that’s fine with him. But he’s too smart — both Hedges as an actor and Jared as a character — not to see what’s in front of him and admit what’s going on.

Joel Edgerton, who wrote and directed, co-stars in “Boy Erased.”    Edgerton casts himself as Sykes, who runs the conversion program, and he couldn’t have found a better actor for the role. Edgerton is really good at presenting a sure façade, while suggesting doubt; an intelligent façade, while suggesting stupidity; an impressive façade, while suggesting hollowness — and conversely, a corrupt façade, while suggesting a core humanity.    “Boy Erased” takes us within the walls of the conversion center, where we get to see the nature of the therapy, a mix of dime-store psychology, false arguments, flogging with bibles (literally), and verbal abuse: “God will not love you the way you are right now.” The therapy seems like an expression of Sykes’ own conflicts and limitations.

“Boy Erased” is something more and something less than an expose of conversion therapy practices. The therapy seems useless and potentially destructive, but more misguided than cruel or frightening. The larger picture is the social context, which encompasses not just the therapy, but the church, the community and the family. Jared’s parents find themselves confronted by a logical conundrum disguised as a simple moral issue. They know everything they’ve been told, and they know how they feel about their son, and they have to decide what to trust, their beliefs or their perceptions.
As such, “Boy Erased” is a low-key film, not especially dramatic or ambitious, but dedicated to showing how people think and can sometimes change. Within its small scope, it’s a positive achievement.






MBoy Erased: Drama. Starring Lucas Hedges and Joel Edgerton. Directed by Joel Edgerton. (R. 114 minutes.)
  
[[Mick LaSalle Mick LaSalle is The San Francisco Chronicle's film critic. Email: mlasalle@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @MickLaSalle]]

Related article

October 17, 2018

Homophobes Wants Netflix to Drop a Series with Some Gay Characters- Netflix Says No time for Homophobia


Netflix has no time for homophobia. 

The streaming giant recently shared a photo on Instagram of same-sex couple Omar and Ander from their new hot property Elite, a Spanish TV series which follows the culture clash as three working-class teens enrol in an exclusive private school.
“The only thing I want is to be with you,” Netflix captioned the photo, alongside the hashtag #Omander, which is the ‘ship’ name that viewers have given to the adorable couple. 
While fans of the show have been rooting for the fictional relationship, some bigoted trolls took offence at the image, and began leaving homophobic comments on the post – but it didn’t take long for Netflix to hit back hard.
“Get the fuck off my Instagram. Not ever[y] person on the planet is gay. You are trying way to hard,” wrote one anti-gay Instagram user.
So how did Netflix respond? With hundreds of rainbow emoji and the comeback: “Sorry couldn’t read your comment while surrounded by all these beautiful rainbows.”

Gay Times UK

October 15, 2018

BBC Promises to Have More Gay Characters to Fight The Heteronormative


Image result for bbc







The BBC is going to increase the number of LGBT people appearing in its programmes and news output as part of new diversity reforms.
They will be "incidental" portrayals, meaning that their sexuality is not part of a storyline or directly relevant to a news item.
Off-screen and off-air, LGBT staff will be encouraged to "bring their whole self to work" and be open about their sexuality.
Other recommendations include the use of non-binary pronouns used by staff where appropriate, and a network of "straight allies" who will announce their status with pin badges or special email signatures.
They are included in a new report based on a survey of LGBT staff attitudes, which found that many perceived the corporation to have a "heteronormative culture".
LGBT staff account for 11 per cent of the total BBC workforce and 12 per cent of senior staff. BBC bosses say they have acted to ensure they retain and attract the best LGBT talent as an employer, and to appeal to a younger audience as a broadcaster.
James Purnell, director of radio and education, said: "One of our big challenges currently is around young audiences.
"In a recent YouGov survey only 51% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they identified as completely heterosexual.
"An organisation that appears to have a heteronormative culture is not one that is going to cut ice with them either as a consumer or an employee.
"We're aiming to create the most open, inclusive culture we can."
An internal survey of 300 LGBT staff at the BBC revealed areas requiring improvement, including a heteronormative culture, a need for inclusive non-binary language, insufficient support for trans staff, and a need to "adopt LGBTQ or LGBTQ+".
Concerns were also raised that gay men were the most visible members of the LGBT community at the company, that intersectionality of race and background within the LGBT community was not reflected enough, and that there was a need for more visible LGBT leaders.
Karen Millington and Matt Weaver, said: "We hope this makes everyone feel included - whether genderqueer, bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, non-binary, pansexual, intersex, asexual, queer, questioning or an ally."
Telegraph UK

August 13, 2018

The Film Industry Still An Unfriendly Place for LGBT People (Vancouver Queer Film Festival)

Courtney Dickson · CBC News


Yen Tan's 1985, the first film to be shown at the 30th VQFF, looks back to the year Ronald Reagan publicly acknowledged the AIDS crisis for the first time — after it had already killed more than 5,000 people. (Courtesy of Vancouver Queer Film Festival)



The artistic director of  the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, says the film industry still has a long way to go in terms of providing access and opportunities for marginalized people in the business. 
The presence of LGBT actors and storylines in mainstream film has increased in the last decades, with films such as Call Me By Your Name and A Fantastic Woman winning awards and gaining international attention, said Anoushka Ratnarajah 
However, Ratnarajah, who has screened work by LGBT filmmakers since the festival's inception nearly 30 years ago, said the industry is still an unfriendly place for LGBT people.
"Unfortunately a lot of those stories are still not told by actual queer filmmakers,"  Ratnarajah​ told Stephen Quinn, host of CBC's  The Early Edition.
"Queer, trans and two-spirit actors, like filmmakers, directors and scriptwriters, have very little access to opportunities to perform. When they are given parts they're often put in these tokenizing roles that don't explore the full nuance of who we are as people."
The festival was formerly known as the Vancouver Lesbian Film Festival.

A program from the festival's inaugural event in 1989 promoted it as a place to "examine race and class issues and recognize how doubly difficult it is for lesbians of colour and working class lesbians to work as filmmakers because of the frustrating inaccessibility of resources."
Ratnarajah said that goal rings true today.
"Film is traditionally quite an inaccessible art medium," she says. "It's very expensive. Marginalized people like women, queer people, trans people, people of colour, have often been kept out of the film industry by gatekeepers, mostly straight white men."
And, while LGBT stories are being told in popular movies, there are still filmmakers whose works are being missed by the general public. According to Ratnarajah, this is why the film festival remains vital.

Call Me By Your Name was nominated for four Academy Awards, including best picture. (Mongrel)

"Festivals like ours offer opportunities for artists who don't have as many opportunities to show their films at festivals. A festival showing is really meaningful in the CV of a filmmaker."
The festival runs from Aug. 9 to 19.

July 25, 2018

In Miami A Man is Arrested For Tricking Straight Man into Sex and Secretly Filming Them

Miami Man Arrested for Tricking Straight Men Into Filming Gay Porn 

Bryan Deneumostier allegedly posed as a housewife to run the site StraightBoyz.






A Florida man has been arrested after allegedly luring men to his home with the promise of anonymous sex and then filming them without their knowledge or consent, the Miami Herald reports.
Federal agents arrested Bryan Deneumostier, 33, earlier this week on charges related to his operation of StraightBoyz, a pay porn website featuring videos of straight men getting duped into receiving oral sex while blindfolded or wearing black goggles.
Following an investigation conducted by U.S. Homeland Security agents, Deneumostier was charged with two counts of illegal interception of oral communication and three counts of record-keeping violations.
According to an official court document, Deneumostier posed as a “real, heterosexual female” and posted ads on Craigslist seeking sexual encounters with men at his house near the Homestead Reserve Air Base in the South Miami-Dade area.

Miami-Dade Police Dept.
Although these men agreed to be blindfolded and have oral sex performed on them, they reportedly did not know Deneumostier was filming the encounters and uploading the videos to StraightBoyz.
Investigators say Deneumostier ran the now-defunct website for at least four years. It featured at least 600 videos, many of which are still viewable on other adult video-sharing sites.
“When the men ask for assurances that there are no cameras, he assured them that ‘she’s’ married to someone in the army and she would never photograph or video them,” the court document reads, but “Deneumostier is video and audio taping the entire sexual encounter.”
Deneumostier was also arrested earlier this month and charged with unlawful sex with a minor after police found him in a hotel with an underage boy who been reported missing. According to the arrest report, he admitted to spending two days drinking, taking drugs, and having sex with the teen.


February 21, 2018

"Taboos" Breaks Just that in Africa Even With an Unfair Porno Classification




 The boys with painted faces and the 'teacher' This ceremony still goes on today Young initiate Kwanda (Ncoyini, left) "represents something extremely positive and for me," says Trengove. "There's a new generation of queer kids in South Africa that is exactly that: defiant, outspoken (and) spirited." CNN photo



South African regulators have classified a touching gay love story as R-rated, “effectively labeling the film as pornography and pulling it out of cinemas,” the film’s producers said.
Released Feb. 2 in South Africa, Inxeba attracted so much protest in some areas that cinemas pulled the film, fearing for the safety of their staff. Yet the film garnered praise on social media and received positive reviews, with some critics urging audiences to see it because of the public outcry.
Protestors contend the film mocks the isiXhosa custom of ulwaluko, the initiation that boys must undergo before becoming men. The secretive practice sees hundreds of young men sent “to the mountain” or “to the bush,” a term meant to describe the isolation of the process during which they also are circumcised.
Shot in isiXhosa on location in the rural Eastern Cape, the film followsKwanda, an openly gay young man who is sent to from the city to rural South Africa to attend traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys. In his ritual isolation from society, he is cared for by Xolani, a lonely factory worker who has not yet come out as gay. Kwanda’s questioning of traditional ideals of manhood upend the tradition he is participating in and threaten to expose Xolani’s secret.
The film’s scenes of the secretive initiation and its conversations around masculinity seem to have irked the more conservative sectors of South African society. Those opposed to the film object to what they say is cultural appropriation, while those supporting the film extol its expression of gay rights. The tenor of the debate illustrates the divide between South Africa’s liberal constitution and its sometimes conservative society.
The Film and Publications Board reclassified the film from 16LS to X18. Its decision for the stricter classification came after complaints from a branch of the Congress of Traditional Leaders and the Men and Boy Foundation (which seems to have no online presence or contact information).

             FPB
URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT:
The Film and Publication Board (FPB) Appeal Tribunal has overturned the classification rating of 16 LS given to the film Inxeba – The Wound and gave it a rating of X18 with the classifiable elements of Sex, Language, Nudity, Violence and Prejudice.
The classification means the film cannot be shown in commercial cinemas and “can only be distributed at designated adult premises”—the kind of conditions that hardcore pornography is distributed under in South Africa. The exact reasons for the reclassification are not clear, but the board is legally mandated to clarify its decision, the producers said in a statement sent to Quartz on Feb. 20. They plan to challenge the board’s decision.
“We are taking the matter very seriously and will not let it rest,” said Helen Kuun, head of Indigenous Film Distribution.
The film’s star, Nakhane Touré, received death threats long before the film’s release and has avoided interviews. A musician, novelist and actor who also happens to be a Xhosa man, Touré broke his silence on social media over the banning. Several human rights and free speech organizations lent their voices to the outcry over the classification, while some South Africans began online petitions to challenge the classification.
The film’s co-writer, Thando Mgqolozana has called the ruling “anti-creation and draconian.” Mgqolozana’s debut novel, A Man Who is Not A Man, also delved into the contradictions of this secretive cultural practice. The danger of maiming and death of initiates during circumcision or while they are exposed to the elements in isolation is a constant news item in South Africa. Mgqolozana worked with director John Trengrove to create a short film based on his semi-autobiographical novel before they worked together on Inxeba. 
 Those who oppose the film argue that it disrespects cultural norms by exposing some elements of the secretive ritual. Others argue that a white director and white producers had no right to tell this story, despite starring Xhosa men and being co-written by a Xhosa author.
“This movie Inxeba is an appropriation and complete distortion of black people’s cultural tradition of ulwaluko,” wrote the founders of the Facebook page ‘Inxeba The Wound Must Fall.’
“Some people who are not Xhosa men might say there is nothing wrong with the movie but as we Xhosa men we can see that they are mocking our tradition which was supposed to be kept as a secret,” said Shaun Mgecwa, who started the Facebook campaign to ban the film. Mgecwa told Quartz that the violence and strong language in the film casts a negative shadow on a process that is meant to teach men how to be the head of a household and how to behave respectfully in society.
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