Cooks set to censor Elton

Saturday June 15, 2019 Written by Published in Entertainment
Rocketman is billed as a musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years. 19061429 Rocketman is billed as a musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years. 19061429

It’s been screening for a week in Rarotonga, it’s the talk of the town – but now the movie of the life of superstar Elton John is being pulled from the cinema.

The movie Rocketman is likely to be banned here in the Cook Islands – despite having already been in the cinema for a week.

The film, a biography of English pop singer Elton John containing intimate gay scenes, has been banned in Egypt and Samoa.

“We might go the same way,” said chief censor Dennis Tangirere.

The proposal has worried Cook Islands’ LGBTI community, as it did across the Pacific.

Samoa's principal censor had told local media the film did not “go well with the cultural and Christian beliefs of Samoa”.

Tangirere acknowledged that decision was likely to have an influence on his own, saying other films had previously been censored in the Cook Islands on “religious grounds”.

“We have banned films here before for containing homosexual content,” he argued.

Rocketman is billed by studio Paramount as a musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years. It has been critically and popularly acclaimed overseas.

It was released at the local Empire Cinema on June 6 and has screened about seven times since. The movie was not being screened yesterday, with cinema management citing “technical issues”.

Cook Islands News understands the movie is unlikely to be screened again at the cinema, a family business run by Pa Napa.

When questioned as to why the film was already being screened at the cinema, Tangirere stated that he was usually provided with a list of films cinemas prior to their screening, but this did not happen last week.

So he was oblivious to the fact that Rocketman would be screened here.

“I usually watch the films before they are screened. However, Napa was late with the list last week,” Tangirere says.

The looming ban has drawn criticism from the local LGBTI community, with the secretary of Te Tiare Association Valentino Wichman saying: “Rocketman is just another film which people should have the freedom to watch.

“Banning films based on certain grounds affects people in different ways. Actions like this brings up certain views and emotions which can be damaging.”

“The ban may bring unwanted attention to members of our community and may reignite certain attitudes which are better left somewhere else. The message to the community is that this ban does not mean that we (the LGBTI community) are less normal, or that we should feel angry and sad,” says Wichman.

“We are an integral part of this community and to a large extent are socially accepted members of our society.”

In both Samoa and the Cook Islands, sodomy is an illegal act.

“These archaic laws have never been used, however the fact that they are there and can be used is a worry for our community.”

Wichman promised to follow up with the Censor Office regarding the ban and encouraged people to still watch the film: “You can still get a copy from overseas and watch it in your homes.”

4 comments

  • Comment Link Knocker Monday, 17 June 2019 11:09 posted by Knocker

    In many parts of the middle east women can only publicly show eyes and feet ... this is because if religious beliefs. If you don't agree with this belief ( like mist if the civilised workd ) then don't go there. If you don't want to see this movie because of your antiquated religious beliefs, don't go to watch it ... nobody is forcing you to pay to go there and watch it. I'm sure somebody once told me that god created, and loves everybody, and I don't think the terms 'Transgender' or LGBTQ, , are even mentioned in the bible. Before so called religious people make judgements they should look within at how many religious people are being sent to prison nowadays .....

  • Comment Link Yvette Tairea Sunday, 16 June 2019 19:32 posted by Yvette Tairea

    Wow Soooooo sad tikai, I don't support for the Rocketman to be Screened in the Cook Islands, it will damage the future of our beautiful Paradise, Some people might think it's ok, but for me I don't support Gay marriage or anything to do with them, BAN THE MOVIE

  • Comment Link Heinz Matysik Sunday, 16 June 2019 00:28 posted by Heinz Matysik

    Please ban this movie ... I have been waiting for the that case where I can really test our Constitution ... and I feel this might be the one ...

  • Comment Link Gosh you people are  not living in the real world are you Saturday, 15 June 2019 21:01 posted by Gosh you people are not living in the real world are you

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