Qatar bans Scandinavian sex change movie

AFP/The Local
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Qatar bans Scandinavian sex change movie
Alicia Vikander at the Los Angeles premiere of 'The Danish Girl'. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander has been praised for her performance alongside Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl'. But Qatar has banned the transgender film following complaints of depravity.


Hollywood star Vikander only narrowly lost out on a Golden Globe this weekend for her starring role in 'The Danish Girl' as the wife of an artist who undergoes one of the world's first sex changes.

But the praised movie has not hit home with all audiences. Qatar's decision to ban it follows protests online about the "depravity" of the film, which had begun screening at some cinemas in Doha this month.

"We would like to inform you that we have contacted the concerned administration and the screening of the Danish film is now banned from cinemas," the culture ministry wrote on Twitter.

"We thank you for your unwavering vigilance."

The film, which is loosely based on the lives of Danish painters Lile Elbe and Gerda Wegener in the 1920s, had first been screened in Qatar last Thursday.

The Doha News website reported that some viewers had taken to social media to complain that the movie was being screened in Qatar, and one complained about the film's "moral depravity" after seeing the trailer.

One member of staff at a Doha cinema, who did not wish to be named, said authorities had told them to remove the film on Monday. It was immediately pulled.

British actor Redmayne, who won an Oscar last year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory of Everything', plays pioneering transgender woman Elbe in the movie.

27-year-old Swede Vikander, one of the cinematic world's rising supernovas, has previously made headlines after speaking out on the Hollywood paygap between male and female actresses.


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