On March 11, the film “Supernova” was released in Russia with Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in the title role. The film tells the story of a gay couple in which one of the partners is rapidly losing his memory.
But the Russian distributor cut out a three-minute intimate scene with two main characters from the picture.
The director of the film, Harry McQueen, said he opposed the censorship of his film in Russia.
“We, the filmmakers, are strongly opposed to the Supernova censorship in Russia. It is deeply troubling that the film was edited without our permission and against our will,” the statement said.
Sergei Shcherbinin, director of the World Pictures distribution company, declined to comment. Later, the distributor released the full version of the film “Supernova” in Russia.
The press service of the company said that “the essence and message of the film is not in the problems of LGBT people, but in something else – in love, in support, in the pain of losing a loved one, in salvation and in freedom of choice.” They referred to McQueen’s statement, who said that it would be better if Russian viewers saw the film in a cut-down form than not at all.
“Due to the fact that there was a lot of excitement around the film, which fueled interest in the full version of the film, all those who want to see it can contact their cinemas, which usually respond promptly to such requests,” the BBC said. -si at World Pictures. – Any cinemas that decide to release the full version of the film and let us know about it, we will be happy to provide it. “
“Naturally, after permission from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation,” the company added. “The viewer votes, and this is the main thing. Therefore, we hope that the full version of the film can be seen in cinemas this week.”
The distribution company, while preparing “Supernova” for the Russian distribution, cut out from the film a three-minute sex scene of the main characters.
At the same time, the film was still released with the mark “18+”.
The film’s director, Harry McQueen, said he understands the pressure that Russian distributors are subjected to, but the filmmaking team “will not tolerate this kind of censorship.”
“We want the film to be shown in its original, unedited form around the world,” the director said in a statement.
“As a team, we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ + communities around the world and have expressed our deep concern to the Russian distributor.”
According to film critic Zinaida Pronchenko, the distributor feared that cinemas would refuse to show the full version of the film.
The orientation of the main characters is not mentioned in the press materials sent out by the distributor.
“Now the inattentive viewer may well think that this is a picture of a strong male friendship”, – sums up the film critic Anton Dolin.
The film tells the story of a gay couple in which a writer named Tasker Mulliner, played by Tucci, is rapidly losing his memory.
Therefore, the couple decides to go on a journey so that the writer has time to write a novel before his memory leaves him.
The film received mostly high reviews from critics.
“Of course,” Supernova “is primarily a film about accepting the death of a loved one, and homosexuality is by no means its central theme. But the entire emotional mood of the film is lost and meaningless when significant details in the characters’ relationships are lost: we say goodbye to a loved one differently than to a friend This means that the most important thing has been removed from the film – the key to its understanding, “writes Anton Dolin.
“McQueen does not need to justify the sexual orientation of his characters, he does not need to make a plot mechanism out of it – because then homosexuality will be shown as exotic, as something that must be justified, otherwise it simply will not find a place in history,” film critic Efim Gungin comments on the film …
In 2019, the film “Rocketman”, based on the biography of the English singer and composer Sir Elton John, was similarly censored.
The film was released in Russia without a sex scene of two men and the end credits, which say that the singer is now married to a man.
“We reject in the strongest terms the decision to indulge local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market,” Elton John and the filmmakers said in a joint statement.
In Russia, there is a law prohibiting “the propaganda of non-traditional relationships among minors.”