The Performing Arts Centre of Penang in Malaysia cancelled a screening of Vietnamese film ‘Lost in Paradise,’ which contains a gay storyline, on Tuesday amid opposition from Islamist groups.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the film that was scheduled for viewing has now been replaced,” the performing arts centre’s Facebook announced on Tuesday.
“Our management said the movie is unsuitable for screening due to its sensitive subject. So we decided to replace it,” a spokesman was quoted saying by New Straits Times (NST).
Islamist group Jaringan Muslimin Pulau Pinang (JMPP) chairman Hafiz Nordin said the organiser should have been more careful in selecting the movie genre, according to the NST.
“If they really are Malaysians, they should know that such movies should not be screened for the public even if it is done at their premises. This can be construed by some as a way of promoting homosexuality in our country,” he said.
Pro-Islamist portals IsmaWeb and menara.my also reportedly ran articles protesting the screening.
The film, directed by Vu Ngoc Dang, portrays the love triangle between three men amid a backdrop of male prostitution.
It has been shown among others at the Toronto International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, and the Busan International Film Festival.