Lhese two works have little to do with each other. The first is a global blockbuster already seen by 5 million spectators in France. The second is a novel for teenagers, printed in a few hundred copies. Barbie, by Greta Gerwig, and way too small, by Manu Causse (Thierry Magnier, 2022), nevertheless share an unpleasant summer experience, that of censorship and bans because of their content. The film is judged, in some countries, to be unethical and to promote ity. The book is, according to the French Ministry of the Interior, to be left only in the hands of adults because of its ographic nature.
Barbie SO and its billion dollar worldwide revenue in just six weeks of operation; Barbie and the many stances it has given rise to, among those who welcome the advent of a real female gauze (“feminine gaze”) on this type of popular production and the others who mock, on the contrary, a shoddy feminism hiding badly the purely industrial project of Mattel, the inventor of the famous plastic doll. Barbie and finally censorship, several countries, notably in the Gulf, not enjoying the freedom of tone of the film and the emancipatory imagery of the women it conveys.
Latest, Cameroon. As reported by our correspondent Josiane Kouagheu (“Monde Afrique”), the country decided on August 21, after a month of exploitation, to withdraw the film from cinemas in the country. “We censor all films whose content is not appropriate for our young people. The film Barbie has content that is not acceptable to them”, thus justifies Donatus Fai Tangem, Director of Cinematography and Audiovisual Productions at the Ministry of Arts and Culture, to the great displeasure of exhibitors now deprived of worldwide success. Initially authorized, the production of Warner studios, with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, would have suffered this ukase following messages published on social networks accusing the film of promoting ity. Violating the laws of the country.
It is for this same reason that Lebanon – where a wave of anti-LGBT+ hatred is currently raging after a bill aimed at decriminalizing ity – could also block the release of the film in the coming days. The Lebanese would thus join the Kuwaitis and the Algerians, already deprived of Barbie. The authorities of Kuwait banned the film from the screens early August on the grounds of a “undermining public morals” and, again, of “the promotion of ity”. In Algeria, the film remained three weeks on display before leaving the screens, always for this same supposed “moral attack”. In Qatar and Oman, the film simply did not come out.
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