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Pakistan bans Joyland, its official Oscar entry, over 'objectionable content'

Pakistan bans Joyland, its official Oscar entry, over 'objectionable content'

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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 15, 2022 4:29:28 PM IST (Published)

The film was cleared by the Pakistani Censor board and it was due to release in Pakistan on November 18.

Pakistan has banned its official Oscar 2023 entry Joyland over ‘highly objectionable’ and ‘repugnant’ material. The makers of the film have called the ban “unconstitutional and illegal”.

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Amid backlash over the ban, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a special committee to evaluate complaints filed against the film. The committee will “consider the complaints against the said film being against the social and moral norms, and recommend follow-up action”, Pakistani news outlets reported.
This comes months after the film was given a clearance certificate for public viewing. Joyland, which was selected for Oscars 2023, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and has since won acclaim all over the world.
The issue over the release
The film was due to release in Pakistan on November 18. Pakistan's censor board cleared the movie on August 17 for public viewing. However, the decision was later reversed.
The ministry cancelled the exhibition licence of Joyland on November 11, according to the Pakistani news outlet Dawn. It reported that the Central Board of Film Censors Islamabad revoked Joyland’s censor certificate on the ground that “the film contains highly objectionable material which do not conform with the social values and moral standards of our society and is clearly repugnant to the norms of decency and morality as laid down in Section 9 of the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979”.
Director Saim Sadiq expressed his disappointment on social media. He wrote that film’s team intends to raise their voice against the grave injustice. He claimed that the sudden U-turn by the Pakistan Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is unconstitutional and illegal and the 18th Amendment in the Pakistani Constitution gives all provinces the autonomy to make their own decision.
Joyland is about the love entanglement between a married man and a transgender dancer. The film tells the story of a patriarchal family, praying for the birth of a boy to continue the family line. However, the family's youngest son (the protagonist) secretly joins an erotic dance theatre where he falls in love with a trans woman.
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