Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dubai Censors Brokeback Mountain

Quel surprise! The UAE has banned Brokeback Mountain from screening in its theaters, says Middle East Online.

Dubai is going to have to do better than that if it is going to achieve its desire to become the liberal, metropolitan destination of the Middle East and take Beirut's title. Sure, it won a World Travel Award in 2005 for Best Destination in the Middle East, but that can change. Especially as gay travellers get tired of Paris, São Paolo and San Francisco.

As I recall, a few months ago no one thought that the movie would screen here in Beirut, either. But now it's been at the Concord for almost a month, even if it lacks a few lascivious minutes. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir even gave it a passable review.

The Middle East Online article says that Brokeback Mountain is being hawked by Chinese bootleggers in Dubai. I expect that, within a few years, Dubai will loosen its grip on censorship. Any press is not good press when it comes to tourism, and no city loves money more than Dubai. Except Riyadh.


Blogger arch.memory said...

That was a decent review in AsSafir, though morbid (as is the movie, I guess)... But news as such, about the Middle East's "leading destination", reminds me why I choose--every day--the emptiness and monotony of my life in the US: it is called Freedom, that word that has been abused so badly it has become unrecognizable. But it is that, the fact that last night, when bored, I could drive 5 minutes, rent the wonderful "Lola & Billy the Kid" and watch it, without a person batting a lash... Maybe I just come here to this blog to reinforce my belief that I am making the right choice every day...

April 27, 2006 3:30 PM  

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