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Bangladesh Film Censor Board banned one in four films

August 19, 2008

The Bangladesh Film Censor Board banned one in four films last year as they contained excessive fighting scenes, dirty dancing and irrelevant script. The board banned on fourth of all films made by its ‘Dhaliwood’ movie industry in the past year to stamp out ‘immoral’ cinema in the Muslim-majority nation, reports AFP on Tuesday.

‘The industry based in Dhaka made 86 films in the year to June at an average cost of 6.5 million taka (100,000 dollars) aimed at 1,000 movie theatres nationwide, said vice-chairman of the censor board Kamrun Nahar. But a quarter was banned because of excessive fight scenes and dirty dancing that had no discernable plot, Nahar said. ‘These films are not healthy and they hardly reflect the country’s culture and tradition. They were full with obscene materials and don’t have any coherent storyline’, she said.

The banned films include ‘Rebel Girl’, ‘Tough Girl’, ‘Massacre’ and ‘The Muscleman’, she said. An Islamist-allied government began the campaign against ‘obscene’ films in 2004. It amended the film censorship act last year before leaving office to include a three-year jail term for producers whose movies are judged to be against Bangladeshi cultural values.

Nahar said however that some producers were able to show movies after extensive cuts were made, though 14 film companies were warned for compelling directors and actors to make immoral films.

‘We have this time warned only the producers because it was found that they are the ones who are responsible for these immoral films. It’s their money that made these unhealthy films,’ she said.

Bangladesh has been ruled by a military-backed emergency government since January following months of political turmoil that led to polls being cancelled. The government has launched a crackdown on corruption including the arrest of scores of political leaders it said was needed before polls are held in late 2008.

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