Syria: Ban on tv-series and films about homosexuality
An article in Al-Akhbar explains about the censorship of tv-series and films about lesbians, such as the television series ‘Behind Bars’ and the new short film, ‘A Lesbian Tale’.
In an interview with Al-Akhbar, director Muhammad Khair Diab explains about his new short film titled ‘A Lesbian Tale’ which is a love story between two girls, focusing on their suffering in a society which does not accept their love:
“Simply to speak about two lesbian girls in an open way will definitely result in censorship. This is something that cannot be resolved, no matter how we try to circumvent it because we are offering a short film based on the story of two lesbians, so I had to do it in English,” he told Al-Akhbar.
As expected, ‘A Lesbian Tale’ started a debate on websites and social networking sites even before it was screened.
“But it seems that Arab censors, particularly in Syria, will keep their eyes firmly closed to any changes taking place around them. They will carry on fighting to keep mouths shut and to stifle any artistic work which has courage to speak about sex,” writes Wissam Kanaan in Al-Akhbar:
“Syrian censors do not allow the realistic portrayal of homosexuality – or that which reflects society’s prejudices – in Syrian drama productions of any kind. All attempts to show them on screen have faced the threat of a ban or cutting specific scenes.”
Al-Akhbar – 22 April 2012:
A Lesbian Tale: Challenging Syrian Censors