Bollywood gay rom-com Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan opened in India Friday to 5-star reviews. However, both Kenya and the United Arab Emirates announced bans on screenings of the film.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan tells the story of a gay couple struggling to win acceptance from one set of parents. They refuse to accept their son’s sexuality and attempt to coerce him into an arranged marriage.
Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar star in the film. Ayushmann Khurrana told New Indian Express he thought of the film after seeing a gay couple kissing in a parking lot late at night in 2018. In that year, the Indian Supreme Court struck down colonial-era laws criminalising gay sex.
“I instantly knew we are ready for it. India is ready for it.
“We’ve seen a lot of films that have dealt with homosexuality, but they’ve mostly been parallel cinema or for festivals.
“Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan will be the one that will penetrate the masses and reach out to the homophobes.”
“I believe our film will be the first step towards opening up a conversation.
“It’s made for the boomer generation, the generation that thinks it’s unnatural to be gay.”
Kenya’s loony censor strikes again
However, the CEO of Kenya’s Film Classification Board disagreed.
“Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya,” said Ezekiel Mutua.
He previously banned the Kenyan lesbian film Rafiki. However, the High Court lifted the ban for seven days in order to make Rafiki eligible for the Academy Awards.
“Go and watch it in India”
“Further, Kenya is a God-fearing nation which places a great premium on family, an institution derived from a union between two people of the opposite gender.
“Those who want to consume such content can go and watch it in India where the film was done or any other country where homosexuality is permissible.
“Kenya will not be the dumping ground for all manner of filth that seeks to destroy the institution of family and our cultural identity.”
Despite Mutua, Kenya is actually the most tolerant of the East African countries. LGBTIQ refugees from less tolerant countries such as Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania make their home there. While the country refuses to decriminalise homosexuality, LGBTIQ people do not suffer the same level of persecution as in surrounding nations.
The United Arab Emirates also banned the film surprising absolutely no one.
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