Dalila Ali Rajah
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Supernova Director Harry Macqueen Slams Russia's Antigay Censorship 


The director of Supernova has slammed the film's censorship in Russia.

Earlier this week, The Moscow Times reported that a scene involving gay intimacy had been cut from the production, which features Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a couple grappling with one's dementia diagnosis

“At least one scene where the characters try to have sex after a dramatic dialogue has disappeared from the story," local outlets reported. 

World Pictures, the film's Russian distributor, cut the scene due to concerns with Russia's "gay propaganda" law, which prohibits LGBTQ+ visibility in venues accessible to minors. It also warned critics not to use "gay" in film reviews.

In response, Supernova's director, Harry Macqueen, on behalf of the British drama's cast and crew, released a statement to The Advocate asserting that "we will not tolerate censorship of this nature."

“We the filmmakers object in the strongest possible terms to the censorship of Supernova in Russia. It is deeply troubling that the film has been edited without our permission and against our will," Macqueen said. "We want the film to be shown in its original, unedited form everywhere around the world. While we recognise the pressure the Russian distributors have been put under, we will not tolerate censorship of this nature. 

"We as a team stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ communities all over the world, and have expressed our deep concerns to the Russian distributor."

This is far from the first time LGBTQ+ films have been censored in Russia. In 2019, distributors nixed scenes of gay intimacy in Rocketman, the Elton John biopic, due to similar fears of breaking this law. After the censorship, John and other producers released a statement saying they "reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market." They called the cutting "a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people."

Firth and Tucci — and their performances in the British drama — are featured in the current cover story in The Advocate. In it, the actors discussed the joy of bringing the stories of these gay characters to life. “It can be a very positive experience of commonality,” Firth said, “which perhaps would have been undiscovered otherwise.”

Tags: film, Russia

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