In a move that may change the experience of adult cinema in the UAE, the country has announced the addition of a new over-21 rating to its movie rating system. The new rules will allow uncut versions of international films to be shown in UAE cinemas. However, details on this are vague at this time.
On Monday, the UAE’s Media Regulatory Bureau announced that the new classification of films rated for audiences over 21 will allow the international (uncut) version of films to be shown in theaters. However, age classification standards for audience entry must be strictly followed in movie theaters.
Across much of the Middle East, films that portray sex, homosexuality, and religious issues are cut to comply with censorship rules due to cultural constraints or are sometimes banned outright.
In the recent past, Marvel Eternals starring the MCU’s first gay superhero, scenes were cut before playing in theaters. Meanwhile, that of Steven Spielberg West Side Story, which has a transgender character named Anybodys, has been banned in parts of the Middle East.
While the announcement is a giant leap against film censorship, it remains to be seen which films will now be allowed to show uncut to audiences 21 and over.
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