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God's Own Country's Gay Sex Scenes Censored on Amazon

God's Own Country

UPDATE: An Amazon representative reached out to The Advocate to assert that "Amazon Prime Video did not censor the movie." Rather, the edited version was uploaded to Prime Video Direct by the provider, said the rep, which in God's Own Country's case is Samuel Goldwyn Films. The Advocate has reached out to the distributor for comment.

There's now less gay sex in God's Own Country.

Francis Lee, the U.K. filmmaker behind the 2017 love story between a Yorkshire sheep farmer and a Romanian migrant worker, took to Twitter to call out censorship for U.S. viewers in the version available on Amazon Prime Video Direct.

"It is not the film I intended or made," Lee wrote Tuesday on the social media platform.

After a clarification from Amazon, Lee then said on Twitter it was U.S. distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films that "butchered" his film "without consultation to get more 'revenue’.'" Lee had not been informed of the cuts and cautioned other filmmakers against working with the distributor.

Viewers reported that at least two scenes were cut from God's Own Country, whose pastoral gay romance has been compared to Brokeback Mountain, albeit with more explicit scenes. In one Johnny (Josh O’Connor) and Gheorghe (Alec Secăreanu) perform oral sex after wrestling on the ground. In another, the pair have sex in a cattle trailer.

These scenes had the potential to raise the age rating (and thus lower the reach) of the film, which may have been a factor in Samuel Goldwyn's decision to nix them.

Free streaming of the film on Prime Video Direct is no longer available. This was the version with the cut scenes, as the stream available for rent or purchase appears to be unedited.

The Advocate named God's Own Country one of the best LGBTQ films of the last decade. "The film is a beautiful, visceral, and at times violent depiction of how self-hate, societal stigma, and prejudice can complicate queer love. Its themes resonate profoundly in a world where fear is threatening to close borders and reject outsiders. Perhaps it provides, if not an antidote, then a salve," editors wrote.

God's Own Country also won the world cinema directing prize at Sundance 2017 in addition to acclaim as an independent film.

Lee's next film is Ammonite, a lesbian romance starring Kate Winslet as a fossil hunter and Saoirse Ronan as the wife of a wealthy geologist.

 
Tags: film, gay sex

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