Moving pictures, or movies, as they’re popularly called have become such an inescapable part of modern life.
While most serve to entertain and take people’s minds off reality for a few hours, others serve to share a message or point of view that can live with the viewers for an indefinite amount of time.
These messages and points of view don’t always go over well with the governments and film classification bodies in some countries, leading to them being banned or having their distribution suppressed.
Mojo takes a look at the movies released between 2010 and 2019 that were later banned by a number of governments or have otherwise had distribution suppressed for various reasons.
10. Call Me By Your Name (2017) – banned in Tunisia
This film follows the story of Elio, a teenager who develops feelings for an older man named Oliver. Oliver works as Elio’s father’s temporary assistant.
Although the relationship between the pair is temporary, Elio realises his sexual orientation as a result and tries to come to terms with it.
The movie was banned in Tunisia where homosexuality is illegal, with ‘sodomy’ punishable by up to three years in prison.
9. The Hunger Games (2012) – banned in Vietnam
The Hunger Games is an American dystopian action film directed by Gary Ross and based on Suzanne Collins’s 2008 novel of the same name. It follows the tale of Katniss Everdeen who volunteers to replace her sister in a tournament that ends only when one participant remains.
The film was quite graphic and violent despite receiving a PG13 rating and was banned for violence in Vietnam.
8. Deadpool (2016) – China and Uzbekistan
Deadpool is a 2016 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It features more adult themes than other films in the franchise and also features more graphic violence. It has been rated R in the United States.
7. Noah (2014) – Multiple countries
Noah is a 2014 American biblical drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky.
According to a Wikipedia entry, Aronofsky co-wrote the screenplay with Ari Handel. The film was inspired by the biblical story of Noah’s Ark from the Book of Genesis and the Book of Enoch.
It stars Russell Crowe as Noah, along with Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Anthony Hopkins.
“Although it received praise for its direction and acting, the film also generated controversy for its perceived environmentalist political messages and extensive use of non-biblical sources for inspiration, such as the Book of Enoch. It was denied release in China for (according to an anonymous source) ‘religion-related reasons’, and was banned in several Muslim countries due to its depiction of prophets venerated in Islam.”
6. The Interview (2014) – North Korea and Russia
This 2014 film follows Aaron and Dave (James Franco and Seth Rogen), American broadcasters who run a popular late-night show and get a chance to interview Kim Jong-un (played by Randall Park).
In the film, the CIA decides to take advantage of the opportunity and devices a plan to assassinate the infamous dictator.
5. Argo (2012) – Iran
Argo is a 2012 American historical drama thriller film directed by Ben Affleck who also stars in the film as an exfiltration specialist that masquerades as a Hollywood producer in order to rescue six Americans who are held captive in Tehran during the US hostage crisis in Iran.
The screenplay, written by Chris Terrio, was adapted from the 1999 book of the same name by the U.S.
4. Wonder Woman (2017) – multiple countries (and Justice League by association)
Wonder Woman is a 2017 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first comic book film following the tale of a female superhero and the film stars Gal Gadot.
While most films were banned for their subject matter, this one was banned for the lead actress’ previous role in the Israeli armed forces as well as her views on Palestine.
3. The Human Centipede 2 Full Sequence (2011) – Multiple countries
The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is a 2011 exploitation body horror film that follows a depraved mama’s boy (Laurence R. Harvey) as he goes on a killing and collecting spree to recreate the experiment portrayed in The Human Centipede (First Sequence).
The movie received substantial attention and controversy for its graphic depictions of violence, sexual violence and body horror and was, therefore, subject to heavy censorship throughout the world, where it was sometimes edited to remove objectionable content or banned altogether.
2. Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) – multiple countries
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 American erotic romantic drama film based on E. L. James’ 2011 novel of the same name. The movie stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who begins a sadomasochistic relationship with young business magnate Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan.
The film features some mild sex scenes that have been considered graphic and lewd by some.
1. A Serbian Film (2011) – Multiple countries
A Serbian Film is a 2010 Serbian horror film that tells the story of a financially struggling porn star who agrees to participate in an “art film”, only to discover that he has been drafted into a snuff film with paedophilic and necrophilic themes.
Compiled by Kaunda Selisho