Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, which bowed to big numbers in Mexico and Korea last week, was not accepted for release in most of the Arab world which cited contradictions with the teachings of Islam. Indonesia, which has a heavy Muslim majority, has become the latest territory to join the fray. A member of the local censorship board told AFP today that the film was rejected over similar concerns as the other countries which have opted to ban the movie. The depiction of prophets is forbidden under Islamic law and, as well as being a biblical figure, Noah is also a Koranic prophet. “The visual depiction of a prophet is forbidden in Islam,” Zainut Tauhid Saadi told the news agency, adding: “The film will hurt both Christian and Muslim communities.” Noah had been slated for release on March 28, but has been pulled from schedules, the Jakarta Globe reports. (The movie is likely to still be seen given the wide availability of bootleg copies of Western films. A local filmmaker I know tells me, “Usually in Indonesia when they ban a big movie like that, the pirated DVD will sell like hot cakes.”) Indonesian director Joko Anwar (Ritual, Fobidden Door) told the Jakarta Globe he disagreed with the ban. “If there is a fear that the film will cause unrest and protest from some groups then the government should create a situation conducive to people growing up instead of always limiting them to a narrow-minded condition,” he said. Noah earned $14M in its Korea and Mexico openings at the weekend and became the biggest debut of 2014 in the latter. It opens Friday in the U.S. and about 20 additional markets.
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