Saturday, April 01, 2006

Censor sensibility

It's four months since the controversial movie Syriana was released in the USA. Debate continues to rage here as to whether the film will be released in the UAE at all, and if so how much will find its way into the censors' waste bin. One thing appears certain: an uncut version is unlikely to make it on to any of the multitude of silver screens. I've not seen the movie, obviously, so cannot comment on whether a partial or total ban is justified. It is curious nevertheless that the same Officialdom that permitted Mr George Clooney and his entourage to come to Dubai and make part of the movie now feel that the script that was approved is now not suitable for public consumption.

If, as appears may be the case, the script portrays a nation uncomfortably similar to Dubai in a less than flattering light, then perhaps permission to film should have been withheld. But it's too late for that now.

Might I suggest that if Syriana includes unflattering words coming from Mr Clooney's mouth, all of his works should be banned, and he himself should be persona non grata in the Emirates. This is what happened to members of the band Saxon owing to the allegedly offensive lyrics of one of their songs, written nearly a quarter of a century ago.

All Clooney DVDs should perhaps be burned in a huge protest bonfire on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab. Bring out your Ocean's 11! Bring out your Good Night, and Good Luck! And definitely bring out your Solaris!

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