The Pan Arabian Enquirer, our favourite ever-facetious Middle Eastern satire site, has been poking fun at censorship in the Middle East. Inspired by extensive censorship of the film Wolf of Wall Street, they mocked the release of risqué director Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac,“ which chronicles the erotic life of the main character while featuring unsimulated sex scenes. An uncut director’s version of the film, starring musician Charlotte Gainsbourg, had its debut this month at the Berlin Film Festival. Gainsbourg’s character, Joe, shares her life in five separate chapters. Each shows a rollercoaster of sexual encounters the character has had and which critics say are equally fueled by sadness and pleasure. Editors at the Pan Arabian Enquirer couldn’t resist the opportunity to to tie the film back to Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster Wolf of Wall Street, which features Leonardo DiCaprio and had a whopping 45 minutes cut due to censorship.
“Breaking all previously held records, film censors in the Middle East have cut Nymphomaniac, Lars Von Trier’s upcoming two-part four-hour sexually explicit drama, to just two seconds in length.
“We thought we’d seen it all with The Wolf Of Wall Street, but this is extraordinary. A visionary like Von Trier will no doubt appreciate the tireless effort and attention to detail that has gone into this new cut,” said movie blogger Alaa O’Mara.” (Pan Arabian Enquirer)
Though von Trier’s Nymphomaniac will likely never see the darkness of a Middle East cinema due to its inherent themes, theatre-goers in Dubai have not held back their disappointment at the censored Wolf of Wall Street. The film was heavy on drug use, nudity and a record-breaking 500 instances using expletives, and received international criticism for its glorification of greed and decadence. The UAE National Media Council fought back against complaints from the public, saying they had not made the edits on the film and that distributors had done a sloppy job. Many potential viewers were quick to respond that they would rather download the uncut original version online than waste time and money visiting the theatre.