Oscar Winning film, Call Me By Your Name, has reportedly been banned in the North African Nation of Tunisia.
According to AFP, Lassaad Goubantini who distributes major titles in the country, the small nation’s culture ministry has refused to give him a permit to screen the film, describing the decision as an unconstitutional “attack on liberties.”
Goubantini who says that the film was turned down based on “the subject of the film,” explains that the film was meant to have been shown in Tunisia on Wednesday March 7, however, the screening had to be cancelled.
“We filed an application for authorisation with the ministry of culture. We even proposed a viewing in exceptional circumstances before the screening to know if it would go ahead or not, but we were refused a permit,” Goubantini said.
Call Me By Your Name which has received wide critical praise has also come under fire by some for its depiction of a love affair between a 17-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man.
The film is a coming of age story about a teenager spending the summer in Italy, who falls in love with an American academic.
The film won an Oscar in the Adapted Screenplay category while also receiving three other nominations, including Best Picture. It was also nominated for Actor in a Leading Role (Timothée Chalamet) and Original Song (Mystery of Love, by Sufjan Stevens).
Currently, in Tunisia, both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal with a maximum sentence of three years in prison, notably, recently when two young men were beaten, subjected to forced anal exams and sentenced to eight months in prison after they were arrested for simply “looking gay.”