Uganda has banned a Dutch film because it “glorifies homosexuality” and features scenes of sexual intercourse as well as alcohol consumption and smoking. News of the ban was released by the Dutch Embassy in Kampala, which on Facebook published the Uganda Media Council's objections to “De Eetclub,” or “The Dinner Club.”
The Netherlands's embassy had been due to screen the film as part of the Euro-Uganda Film Festival on Tuesday but had to cancel the show because of the ban.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and the Uganda Media Council's decision prominently lists the film's discussion of homosexuality as a key factor for the ban. “While glorifying homosexuality two women say marriage (presumably to men) is hard work!” the document notes. The film's “steamy” sex scenes also were mentioned.
Another issue for the Uganda Media Council was that alcohol is drunk “almost throughout the movie” and women are shown smoking. Over recent years, the Ugandan government has implemented laws designed to stop smoking in public places and curb the consumption of alcohol. The council also took issue with the language used in the movie, noting that profanities are used and that, at one point, a man calls someone a “hot chick.” It also argued that many of the criminal subplots in the film “are not resolved.”
The Dutch Embassy wrote that it “deplores” the move to ban the film and would pull out of the festival in response. Comments from Ugandans on Facebook suggested a split in views about the ban, with some saying Kampala was within its rights to ban the film and others suggesting that the decision went too far.
On social media, some Dutch users appeared surprised by the controversy over a film many had forgotten about. “Reviewers in 2010: Why was this god-awful film ever made?” one wrote. “Now: Ah, to piss off homophobes in Uganda. Gotcha.”
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