20 February, 2006

brokeback singapore

From Asian Sex Gazette:

Russian Brokeback PiratedvdCinemagoers in Singapore will be allowed to watch gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain without censorship from Friday.

The Guardian reported that despite the island’s strict homosexuality laws and definition of gay sex as gross indecency, film fans over 21 will be able to watch the highly acclaimed movie.

Some groups see this as a sign of loosening censorship in the country and a part of Singapore’s efforts to promote itself as an Asian centre for media, culture and arts.

Granted, only over-21s will be able to watch it in cinemas and promotional material will carry a consumer advisory saying "mature theme, sexual scenes", but some are already hailing the move as a sign of loosening censorship in the notoriously tightly controlled city state.

Brokeback Mountain is the favourite for Academy Award success next month with eight nominations in all the major categories.

Homosexuals face a maximum of two years in prison for gay sex in Singapore.

The film has already been banned in China and Malaysia.

Although the state has backtracked on some of the ‘pro-gay‘ policies of former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong since Mini Lee has taken the reigns, Singapore has not prosecuted anyone for consensual homosexuality in AsiaPundit’s memory. It’s not quite gay-friendly, but hardly repressive.

The move to allow an Oscar-nominated movie is hardly opening up, it is in line with Singapore’s existing ratings system (putting it in the same category as Kill Bill 2).

That Singapore will allow citizens to view the movie in cinemas is only proper - they would have less chance of seeing it elsewhere. Singapore has very strict anti-piracy laws and could not rely on pirated copies as easily as their Chinese and Malaysian neighbors (Brokeback and the banned Geisha are widely available on almost every Shanghai street corner. And, as the above photo illustrates, also Moscow.)

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by @ 11:01 pm. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Film

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