Last month Qatar banned Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl from cinemas after social media protests declared the film depraved. Since then the Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have also blacklisted the Oscar contender.
Tom Hooper said: “I’m incredibly sorry that some countries find it necessary to stop a movie like this. It is a touching love story about a couple who are undergoing transformation in their relationship and manage it with kindness and great care.”
Dagens Nyheter reports that The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has issued a protest in writing against the film being blacklisted in the Gulf states, but it is particularly aimed at Jordan who recently signed an agreement for democracy status with PACE. The country’s official explanation for the ban is that it “promotes homosexuality and sex change”.
The letter reads: “A ban of movies like The Danish Girl goes completely against the spirit of the partnership that the Jordanian Parliament has signed – and we believe there is a need to remind our partners of this.”
The Danish Girl is a fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s journey underwent the world’s first sex change.
Lili Elbe is played by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, whilst Elbe’s wife, Gerda Wegener, is portrayed by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander who was nominated for both a Golden Globe and Oscar for her performance in the picture.