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David Tolhildan banned in Singapore film fest

KurdishCinema.com - 11 April  2008

Singapore's censors have banned four
documentary films from a movie festival for
portrayals of terrorism, depicting gay Muslims,
and excessive scenes of sado-masochism, a
newspaper reported on Saturday. Two movies
"Arabs And Terrorism" and "David The Tolhildan,
" were "disallowed on account of their
sympathetic portrayal of organizations deemed
terrorist organizations by many countries," Amy
Chua, chairman of the Board of Film Censors,
told the pro-government Straits Times.

"Films which portray terrorist organizations in a
positive light by lending support and voice to
justify their cause through violence are disallowed under the film classification guidelines," said

The four films were among 200 submitted for classification by organizers of the Singapore
International Film Festival, which started on Friday and ends April 14. organizers were told of the
ban on Thursday, the Straits Times said.

The event website www.filmfest.org.sg describes the 135-minute "Arabs And Terrorism" as a
series of interviews with academics, U.S. policymakers and Middle Eastern political factions
and their conflicting views of terrorism.

"David The Tolhildan" depicts the life of Swiss national David Rouiller who leaves home to join
the militant Kurdish Workers' Party, while "In A Jihad For Love" includes interviews with gays
and lesbians in Muslim communities.

Bakushi, the fourth film that was banned, is a documentary on the practice of kinbaku, a
Japanese form of sexual bondage which involves tying up women in elaborate rope patterns.
Singapore has tried to shed its conservative image and woo more visitors by introducing
casinos and night-time Formula One racing, but continues to be criticized by rights groups for
its restrictions on expression and the media.

Its government in January banned a group of foreigners from taking part in a choir that had
planned to sing a list of complaints about life in the city-state.

(by Daryl Loo-Reuters)