MOSCOW (CelebrityAccess) –When Dexter Fletcher’s critically acclaimed Elton John biopic “Rocketman” premieres in Russia in the coming weeks, it will do so with multiple scenes excised from the film.
According to the Guardian, the Russian edition of the film will have been cut by approximately five minutes due to Russian laws banning “homosexual propaganda.”
The Guardian reported that Russian film critic Anton Dolin pointed out the edits on Facebook, noting that scenes which portrayed physical intimacy have been removed from the film. “All scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out,” Dolin said in a post on Facebook.
Dolin added that the edits to the film also included the deletion of a final scene that provides updates on John and his husband David Furnish’ life together, as well as a note about how the pair are happily raising two children together.
Instead, the Russian version of the film that John established an AIDS foundation and is still working with his musical partner Bernie Taupin, who is portrayed by Jamie Bell in the film.
Scenes including drug use were also reportedly cut from the film, the Guardian reported.
On Friday, Russia’s Culture Ministry told Russian news agency Interfax that they did not request the edits, and the responsibility for the deleted scenes rests with the film’s distributor.
“We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today,” John and the film team said in a statement. “Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Elton’s extraordinary life, warts and all. That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people. We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world.”
Paramount issued its own statement: “We are incredibly proud of the movie that we made, which is told in the way that Elton John wanted his story to be depicted. We are releasing the film in its entirety around the world regardless of rating, but like all studios, we must adhere to local laws and requirements in certain territories in which the film is being shown.”
The film is distributed in the market by Central Partnership, who signed a distribution deal with Paramount in 2008.