Amazon Accused of Removing “God’s Own Country” Steamy Sex Scenes

"It is not the film I intended or made."

God’s Own Country has been hailed as a modern queer cinema classic, but if you try watching it on Amazon Prime, you’ll miss the film’s steamy sex scenes.

Earlier this week, director Francis Lee accused Amazon Prime—where the film is available to stream—of removing gay sex scenes from the movie. “Dear friends in USA,” Lee wrote on Twitter, “God’s Own Country appears to have been censored on Prime Video (Amazon Prime). Until this is investigated please do not rent or buy on Amazon Prime. It is not the film I intended or made. I will report back.”

After some investigating, Pink News reports that Amazon wasn’t responsible for the cuts. It was actually the film’s distributor, Samuel Goldwyn Films, that “butchered the streaming version without consultation to get more ‘revenue.'”

“Prime Video were incredibly supportive in rectifying. The rental version of God’s Own Country on Prime Video is the correct version of my film,” Lee continued. “I would like to thank Amazon Prime for being supportive and I would caution any filmmaker of working with the aforementioned ‘distributor’. Thank you everyone for all your support.”

Shot on the Yorkshire moors, Lee’s directorial debut tells the story of an isolated young sheep farmer (Josh O’Connor) who numbs himself with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) sparks an unexpected romance.

God’s Own Country was called the “British Brokeback Mountain” because of the similarities between the stories (complete with a “spit for lube” sex scene). But some critics are even calling God’s Own Country better than the Oscar-winning film from Ang Lee.

“While the commercial success of Brokeback was a milestone for gay films, many gay viewers took issue with the fate of its star-crossed lovers. Without giving too much away, God’s Own Country mostly avoids such pitfalls,” wrote IndieWire after the Sundance premiere back in 2017.

Samuel Goldwyn Films has yet to respond to the censorship controversy.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."
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