Tunisia’s ministry of culture has banned gay romance Call Me By Your Name.
The critically-acclaimed film, which has won a BAFTA and been nominated for four Oscars this year, was supposed to be screened on Wednesday night in a cinema the capital city Tunis.
However, the venue announced on Facebook that the screening had been “cancelled” following intervention from the Tunisian Ministry of Culture who “banned” the film, according to the AFP.
Distributor Lassaad Goubantini called the decision “an attack on liberties” motivated by the film’s same-sex romance.
“We filed an application for authorisation with the ministry of culture,” they said. “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.”
Both male and female homosexuality is illegal in the North African country, with ‘sodomy’ punishable by up to three years in prison.
In past years, men suspected of being gay have been required to undergo ‘anal examinations’ to prove their sexuality, but it was announced last year that the country would be dropping the practice.
Based on the novel by André Aciman, Call Me By Your Name tells the story of Elio (Timothée Chalamet) who falls in love with Oliver, (Armie Hammer), an American academic who comes to stay at his family’s home in Italy during the summer of 1983.
The film has been nominated for four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Leading Actor for Timothée Chalamet, Best Adapted Screenplay for James Ivory, and Best Original Song for Sufjan Steven’s Mystery Of Love.