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Da Vinci to be released without cuts

Censor's clearance was given to the film with an "adults only" certification.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 21:32 IST

The controversial film The Da Vinci Code was on Thursday cleared by the censors without any cuts and will be screened only for adult audiences with disclaimers meant to assuage Christian groups that had opposed its release.

"There will be no cuts and no editing of the film which has been given an 'A' certification. It will only have a disclaimer (saying) that it is a work of fiction," Information and Broadcasting Minister PR Dasmunsi said.

The censor clearance came after Christian leaders, who watched the movie with Dasmunsi on Wednesday, suggested that "strong and lingering disclaimers" describing it as a work of pure fiction with "no resemblance to historical truth" be inserted at its beginning and end.

They also demanded it should be given an adults-only certification as it was only meant for grown-ups who could distinguish between fact and fiction.

Dasmunsi said the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which had received comments from members of the Christian community this morning, would speak to Sony Pictures, the producer of the film, and informing them of the decision.

"The film's release may at the most be delayed by a day or two if it takes time to contact the producers," Dasmunsi said. The movie was set for release in India and worldwide on Friday.

The government had earlier held up the movie's screening after nearly 300 Christian groups submitted representations opposing it.

Dasmunsi said the government had resorted to arranging a special screening of The Da Vinci Code for the Christian leaders because it involved the sensitivities of a religious community.

"I told the CBFC that on matters of religious, ethnic and cultural sensitivities, it should take a wider view," he said.

Asked about his reaction to the movie, Dasmunsi said, "It was one of the good productions, with a well cut out theme based on pure fiction. I am fully convinced that it should be put under 'A' certification."

On whether the government was setting a bad precedent by previewing films, he countered, "If the Army chief and the Defence Minister can watch the film Rang de Basanti before its certification, what is wrong if I have watched this movie?"

The film, which suggests Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and started a family, stars Tom Hanks and is directed by Ron Howard.