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Egypt plans rating with riders in cinema

world cinema Updated: Feb 12, 2015 18:30 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times
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In times when film censorship is churning in India, Egyptian cinema is in a dilemma over its plans to introduce a PG rating system of the kind we have in America and most of Europe. Egypt feels that it still cannot allow nudity and explicit sexual scenes in movies.

Ironically while this kind of debate rages in Egypt and in India as well, Fifty Shades of Grey took the Berlin Film Festival by storm recently. Reports talk about the movie's premiere being near delirious.

At the last Berlin Film Festival in 2014, Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac caused similar excitement. Von Trier's film is pornography all right, but Fifty Shades of Grey has more romance than skin in it.

The chairman of the Egyptian Censorship Bureau, Abd El Sattar Fathy, told the media in Cairo on Wednesday that if there was a scene of explicit images of male and female genitalia or sex, they would be undoubtedly removed.

"Any film that is clearly promoting pornography, homosexuality or that is damaging Egypt's relations with some specific countries will be straightaway rejected," Fathy noted.

With these conditions in force, Egypt will soon implement a rating to classify movies into three categories - for 12 plus, 15 and 18. The new system is meant to keep children from adult content.

But in times such as these, the internet has become a source of concern, and to tame this 'Goliath of an Idiot Box' is no mean task. One often sees in India children who have not learnt to walk are trying to grab their parents' mobile phones. And those kids who are a little older handle the gadget with aplomb.

So, how do you put the brakes on this? The question can be as perplexing as the one that nuns asked in The Sound of Music, how do you catch a cloud and pin it down?