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HomeWorld NewsPakistan bans Cannes-winning 'Joyland,' its entry for the 2023 Oscars

Pakistan bans Cannes-winning ‘Joyland,’ its entry for the 2023 Oscars


“Joyland,” a Pakistani movie that tells the story of a younger married man who falls in love with a transgender lady, gained a prize at this yr’s Cannes Film Festival and is ready to signify the South Asian nation in subsequent yr’s Academy Awards.

But every week earlier than the movie was on account of debut in Pakistani cinemas, the nation’s authorities withdrew the movie’s censorship certification.

Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, a senator from the nonruling Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami celebration, praised the ban, arguing that the movie was towards Islamic values. He shared a Friday assertion from the nation’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which stated the choice got here after written complaints alleged that the movie “contains highly objectionable material” and went towards “decency and morality.”

The ban instantly prompted sharp criticism from the movie’s director and rights activists within the nation, with the hashtag #LaunchJoyland used tens of hundreds of instances on social media as of Tuesday.

Following the outrage, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered a “high level” evaluation into the ban, an aide tweeted Monday evening. “The committee will assess the complaints as well as merits to decide on its release in Pakistan,” Salman Sufi stated.

“Joyland” director Saim Sadiq had described the ban as a “grave injustice,” in addition to “absolutely unconstitutional and illegal.” In a Sunday assertion, he accused the federal government of giving in to “pressure from a few extremist factions,” noting that the movie had already acquired certification from the nation’s censorship boards.

“I urge the Pakistan Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to please review this decision and return the right of our citizens to be able to watch the film that has made their country’s cinema proud [the] world over,” he stated.

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The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan additionally condemned the ban, saying that the justification supplied by the federal government was “not only rabidly transphobic, but also violates the film producers’ right to freedom of expression.”

In 2018, Pakistan’s Parliament adopted a legislation enshrining fundamental rights for its transgender neighborhood, generally known as khwaja sira or the third gender, together with the popularity of their self-identification and prohibiting any discrimination towards them.

In follow, nonetheless, prejudice and even violence towards transgender individuals in Pakistan have continued, with Human Rights Watch accusing authorities of “failing to provide adequate protection or hold perpetrators to account.” The nation’s penal code additionally criminalizes same-sex relationships.

Pakistan has beforehand censored numerous movies, together with these accused of portraying the nation or Muslims negatively — though in some circumstances the choice was later overturned.



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