Censors have banned an independent movie in India for “glorifying the subject of gay and homosexual relationships.”
Director Jayan Cherian revealed on Facebook that the Indian Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) rejected his film, Ka Bodyscapes, about three friends who refuse to conform to gender norms while struggling to find happiness in their conservative city.
An earlier ruling by the Kerala High Court declared that the final decision regarding the movie’s fate could be made by CBFC chief Pahalaj Nihalni, who ultimately denied the film the certification necessary to let it screen in India.
“It is official, Mr.Pahalaj Nihalni put the final nail in my coffin,” Cherian wrote on Facebook with a photo of the letter he received from the CBFC.
The letter explains that the film was rejected for “glorifying” homosexuality, “accentuating vital parts” of the male body, portraying Hinduism in a “derogatory manner” and including a scene in which “a female Muslim character is shown masturbating.”
The decision is the latest in a string of unpopular bans from the CBFC that has many criticizing its archaic censorship practices.
“The CBFC takes the mere reference to any ‘Hindu organization’ in the film as an offense,” Cherian told The Wire. “This is the death-knell of independent cinema and artistic expression in India.”
View a teaser trailer for Ka Bodyscapes below.