Authorities in Qatar have banned local cinemas from screening 'The Danish Girl', a film about a transgender Danish artist. The film featuring Oscar-winning British actor Eddie Redmayne, as transgender woman Lili Elbe, had reportedly been playing across several cinemas in Qatar's capital Doha.
Qatar's Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, made the announcement via Twitter: "We would like to inform you that we have contacted the concerned department and the screening of the Danish film is now banned from cinemas. We thank your unwavering vigilance."
The Danish Girl follows the story of an artist who undergoes one of the world's first sex change. Following the film's release, several social media users in Qatar condemned the film saying it goes against the religious and local cultural norms. Several users said they were shocked at the film's release.
I didn't expect Qatar to release The Danish Girl in cinemas. I'm genuinely surprised
— مها (@DarthMordor) January 8, 2016
Very, very surprised that The Danish Girl was released today in Qatar cinemas.
— Emmet Purcell (@EmmetPurcell) January 7, 2016
— Emmet Purcell (@EmmetPurcell) January 11, 2016
Qatar has previously banned several Hollywood and Bollywood films, including Noah, Exodus and Indian film Raaz 3, and censored large chunks of movies, including the Wolf of Wall Street, which had nearly one-quarter of the entire film censored off.
The general consensus in Qatar is found to be supportive of the censorship with the exception of expats. A 2014 survey by the Northwestern University in Qatar said, reported Metro Weekly News: "This support for censorship and government monitoring of entertainment content is observed across all facets of the population, except, perhaps, among Western expatriates in Qatar."
Meanwhile, the film's director Tom Hooper had earlier said: "I really hope that it might take the general audience on a journey to open their hearts and minds up to people who've been marginalized for too long ... that would be wonderful."