Why Daredevil was Banned in Malaysia

Why Daredevil was Banned in Malaysia

Does EVERY country have the same narrow minded jerks that get off on forcing people to do what THEY want them to do?

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) - In the Oscar-nominated drama "The Hours," lead actresses Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore briefly lock lips with other women. But Malaysian theatergoers are missing these kisses, excised by the state-run censorship board.
Another Hollywood movie, "Daredevil," isn't showing in this Southeast Asian nation at all. The government has banned the superhero flick for "violent content" and encouraging youngsters to "hero worship someone with a devil-sounding name."

The head of Malaysia's Film Censorship Board, responding Monday to recent public criticism that the panel was too prudish for modern audiences, defended such measures.

"We are just applying the guidelines that have been established," board chairman Shaari Mohamad Noor said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We try to minimise cuts and save every film, but censorship is a very subjective matter, so some people might not understand our reasons."

Under Home Ministry regulations, the board "protects the interests of the country and people from bad influences and negative elements shown in films." This means many movies are plagued with jarring edits of love scenes, swear words and other objectionable material.

"It's irritating, because we go to cinemas to see films in their totality," Malaysian movie producer Dominique Hee told The Associated Press. "We're not dumb. We know when censors have cut out chunks of a movie."

"Daredevil" is not the first high-profile movie banned in this mostly Muslim nation. Steven Spielberg's Holocaust film "Schindler's List" was deemed Zionist propaganda. "The Prince of Egypt," an animated epic about Moses, was "insensitive for religious reasons," while the spy spoof "Zoolander" portrayed a plot to assassinate a Malaysian prime minister.

Lukeman Saaid, one of the censors who chose to ban "Daredevil," currently showing in neighboring countries such as Singapore and the Philippines, faulted the movie for its focus on "a character who is a lawyer by day and a vigilante or hired killer by night."

"The theme of the movie is just not suitable," Lukeman told The Star newspaper. "Hero-worshipping someone with a devil-sounding name like Daredevil is just a no-no."

However, the censors' judgments sometimes seem inconsistent. While "Daredevil" was axed, movies now showing in Malaysia include horror sequel "Final Destination 2," a gorefest of bloody explosions, decapitations and people impaled with sharp pipes.

"The censorship board should just review its procedures to recognise that Malaysian cinema lovers have matured," Francis Dass, a newspaper entertainment critic, told The AP. "For urban viewers, the censorship guidelines are extremely outdated and frustrating."
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