We always knew “Bruno” would be controversial and what’s happened in Britain and Ukraine is just more proof that not everyone can handle the film.
According to Reuters, Ukraine has banned “Bruno” from being shown in theaters and sold in DVDs after its culture ministry commission decided that the film “included an artistically unjustified exhibition of sexual organs and sexual relations, homosexual acts in a blatantly graphic form, obscene language, sadism, anti-social behavior which could damage the moral upbringing of our citizens.” The commission’s decision is not surprising since Sacha Baron Cohen’s previous film “Borat” was also banned in Ukraine. Time reported that Deputy Culture Minister Tymofiy Kokhan, head of the commission, told them that 9 out of the 14 commission’s experts voted to ban the film. Evhen Minko, chief editor of media-watchdog magazine Telekritika,is however concerned because he says that the comission’s decision shows that they do not understand the film at all. Taras Karasiychuk, director of the Gay Alliance of Ukraine, stated though that the comission’s decision was not really out of a moral standpoint but to earn points with the elections coming up. He says, “It’s more populism than a desire to protect morals.”
Meanwhile in Britain, where the film is enjoying great popularity, Universal Studios decided to release an edited version of “Bruno” so that younger audiences can see the film. The edited version, which will be just about 2 minutes shorter the original version, will open in British theaters in July 24 and can be seen by anyone 15 and above. Now this decision clearly does not show intolerance or ignorance but sound judgement.