India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) removed crucial parts of the film, resulting in a disjointed version for Indian audiences.
Moonlight is a queer coming-of-age tale that charts the life of a disenfranchised African-American man in poverty-stricken Miami.
Slashed scenes include an encounter involving friends Chiron and Kevin, which climaxes in a handjob, and a brief sex scene between Kevin and a woman, both in the film’s second act.
An unnamed source suggested: “The censor board has ordered the entire hand-job to go. We only hear the protagonist say he is sorry for what happened. Indian audiences will not get what he’s feeling sorry for.”
GT called Moonlight “a wondrous move. A stunning, faultless piece of gay cinema,” awarding it a 5/5 rating.
The film has garnered eight Oscar nominations, which is particularly impressive for an LGBT+ feature: no queer film has ever amassed the same awards recognition.
The cut may come as a surprise to some; Moonlight’s sex scenes are relatively cautious in comparison to other features, such as French queer classic Stranger by the Lake.
However, India is notorious for its conservative stance on LGBT+ issues. Homosexuality is still punishable by law.
The non-censored version of Moonlight is out in UK cinemas today.
Words Liam Taft