Film censorship: GI Joe sequel banned in Pakistan

Published: March 30, 2013
Email
Pakistan censor board bans GI Joe: Retaliation. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan censor board bans GI Joe: Retaliation. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

The latest installment of the Hollywood film franchise GI Joe, has been banned in Pakistan for its negative portrayal of the country, according to officials of the Central Board of Film Censors.

Officials within the censor board said there was no chance that the sequel, titled GI Joe: Retaliation would make through censors.

The film starts off with an American special security team recovering lost nuclear warheads in Pakistan, where it is attacked and framed for stealing nuclear undertones; it stars actors Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, and Channing Tatum. The story also depicts Pakistan as an unstable country in which terrorists are on the verge of stealing the country’s nuclear assets.

“I wonder how anyone thought this film would pass the censor, and this is a question one should ask the importer,” said Iftikhar Durrani, the adviser on national regulation and services.

Durrani explained that the film portrays Pakistan negatively, not just on the issue of the war on terror, but also in the context of the country’s international standing.

“There is a scene which shows the assassination of the Pakistani president and the imposition of martial law, which is not a fair representation of the country,” he added.

Mohsin Yaseen, the general manager for Cinepax and the marketing manager for Footprint Entertainment, said it was expected that the film would be banned.

“We are the representing agency for the film so we, as a policy, try and see if the film could pass censors,” explained Yaseen.

“There were obviously several objectionable things which would never have passed the censors, but these things are also relevant to the content of the film.”

Meanwhile, Atrium Cinema elaborated that the film had been banned as it showed Pakistan in a negative light. “Due to initial scenes depicting Pakistan as a failed state and fictionally portraying foreign invasion of Pakistan’s nuclear installations,” the Atrium Cinemas management posted on Facebook, to the dismay of moviegoers.

All cinemas have been directed to stop screening of any trailers of the film.

Over the years, many Bollywood and Hollywood films have been banned in Pakistan due to their negative portrayal of the country and its institutions. The most recent ones were Saif Ali Khan-starrer Agent Vinod and Zero Dark Thirty, which was based on the operation: Neptune, the pursuit and killing of Osama bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad.

Earlier, internationally acclaimed video games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Medal of Honor: Warfighter were banned for their controversial depiction of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (5)

  • Ozair Mustafa
    Mar 31, 2013 - 11:51AM

    Pakistan is like a very sensitive girl who’s feelings easily get hurt; for example if I told her that Pakistan’s hair was bad and it was invaded by lice, she would probably ban me from her life, her social circles and her friends, because all she likes to do is whine and cry.
    For the love of God, wake up. Welcome to 2013, millions of things world-wide, especially the internet will be offensive, you just need to be an adult to endure it.
    If they were so worried about how almost accurate Hollywood was with this negative portrait of Pakistan, we should be allowed to post videos of Pakistan on youtube and prove them wrong, but wait ! Youtube is banned. Pakistan’s government needs to be in the hands of someone well-educated and well-aware of modern-culture and trend, who is able to adapt to it, instead of banning the future and pushing Pakistan back into stone-age.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali
    Apr 4, 2013 - 12:11PM

    Why wouldn’t the Western Media portray Pakistan in such a light? With leadership that has absolutely no spine whatsoever, whether in begging the Middle East Monarchies or the West for Money, or in standing up for the sovereign rights of Pakistan, the West takes every opportunity it has as its disposal to malign our country. The fault is not theirs, but ours. Unless our leaders develop the moral fibre required to stand up to the country’s enemeis, this is how it shall always be. The bullies will continue to bully. Sad, but true.

    Recommend

  • Qasim
    Apr 6, 2013 - 2:50AM

    The fox news is writing it as,
    “In the film, which also stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Channing Tatum, the team of soldiers known as the G.I. Joes is framed for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan, then targeted for elimination by an imposter posing as the U.S. president.”

    .

    Tribune is stating it as,
    “The film starts off with an American special security team recovering lost nuclear warheads in Pakistan, where it is attacked and framed for stealing nuclear undertones; it stars actors Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, and Channing Tatum. The story also depicts Pakistan as an unstable country in which terrorists are on the verge of stealing the country’s nuclear assets.”

    .

    Fox news = Stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan
    Tribune = Recovering lost nuclear warheads in Pakistan

    The difference of words show something?????

    .
    .
    Fox News story on their page

    Recommend

  • Aisha Azmi
    Apr 20, 2013 - 5:51PM

    There was an incident when I was in grade 4 at a school in Karachi wherein one of the girls had called the other one dumb. The girl of course was offended and complained to the class teacher who in turn said that if you think you aren’t dumb, then you should not be offended when being called dumb. It’s a simple logic in life that one can follow. So if Pakistan does not consider itself to be a nuclear stealing nation, then it should accept the fact that its a form of entertainment, not a personal attack on its morals and values and play the film. And by the way, I’m a Pakistani, and I live in England now and I watched GI Joe and I wasn’t offended for even a second. And I couldn’t agree more with Ozair Mustafa, Pakistan seriously needs to get off its sensitive little bum and accept these things and show the world that we don’t really care because we don’t consider it to be true!

    Recommend

  • nust
    Apr 28, 2013 - 4:09AM

    “There is a scene which shows the assassination of the Pakistani president and the imposition of martial law, which is not a fair representation of the country.”
    You have no idea, Sir, how much i wanna see this movie.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan