Russian film distributors have cut out an intimate scene between Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth in their new film Supernova before it was distributed to theatres, perhaps in an effort to head off fears that Russian theatres would refuse to screen it.

Russian film critic, Konstantine Kropotkin posted to his Telegram account gaybooksfilms, that distributors “are forbidden even to use the word ‘gay’ in relation to the film.” He wants viewers to give the theatre a miss and instead try to catch an uncensored version. “Don’t spoil your experience,” Kropotkin advised.

The film will be screened at the ongoing Melbourne Queer Film Festival event #MQFFTogether.

Russian censorship plans backfired

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But it seems that the Russian film censors have not succeeded in their quest to deny gay Russians their love story because even though they have taken out the good bits, it is impossible to deduct from the context of the rest of the film that these two men, are in fact lovers and long term ones at that.

“At least one scene where the characters try to have sex after a dramatic dialogue has disappeared from the story,” said a Moscow Times article, adding, “several viewers of the stripped-down version confirmed that it’s clear from the context even after self-censorship that the characters are a couple.”

Another Russian film critic points out that the self-censorship “backfired and made this love story even more poignant and delicate.”

It also seems to have thrust into the limelight for Russians the vast social difference between societies in Russia compared to the west, with the same Russian film critic noting, “Now the ‘Russian’ version of ‘Supernova’ even more clearly shows the huge social gap between us and the conventional West,” wrote critic Yefim Gugnin.

Conservative bill author strikes again

It’s a less than friendly environment for LGBTQI folks in Russia these days, especially since July 2020 when Vladimir Putin was re-elected for his third term and started to enact the changes he’d been promising including banning marriage equality, adoption by transgender persons, and recognition of same-sex unions registered abroad.

Controversial anti-LGBTQI Russian lawmaker Yelena Mizulina is the author behind most of the bills seeking to limit the rights of the LGBTQI community in Russia and was behind the notorious “gay propoganda law” as well as the most recent laws restricting the right of LGBTQI Russians, as reported in July last year by the Star Observer.

“The bill ends the practice of marriage between persons of the same sex and those who have changed their genders, and adoptions of children (by same-sex and trans couples),” Russian news agency Interfax quoted Mizulina as saying.

 

 

 

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