Samoa has banned the Sir Elton John biopic “Rocketman” at the country’s only cinema. Apollo Cinemas in Samoa’s capital Apia, the Pacific island nation’s one cinema, had listed the film as playing up until last Friday when it wrote on Facebook they had to cancel the movie.
Technical specialist Simon Kenchington tells ABC Australia that the entire film was rejected by Samoa’s censorship office due to the “homosexual content” and so the cinema was simply abiding by the Film Control Act of 1978. He also admits it “does make Samoa look very backwards”.
Under Samoa’s film classification guide, films that include explicit sexual activity, explicit sexual violence, promotion of drugs or offence to religions are subject to bans. The ban comes after Russia was slammed by John for deleting gay sex scenes from the movie.
On social media there was an outcry from Samoans who had been waiting to see the film with many saying they would resort to sourcing it online. Samoa screened the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” last year after certain scenes had been cut, but in previous years has banned other films like “Milk” and “The Da Vinci Code”.
“Rocketman” is now in cinemas around much of the globe.