China censors decree gay cowboy film too sensitive

CENSORS in China have banned the screening of Brokeback Mountain because they object to its homosexual content.

The film is directed by the hugely popular Taiwanese director Ang Lee, whose 2000 Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon helped to raise the profile of Chinese cinema internationally.

But a report by the official Xinhua News Agency said that the film's "sensitive topic" of gay love meant that it could not be screened.

World Trade Organisation rules require China to screen a minimum of 20 foreign films a year.

Gay activists in China have regularly complained of harassment and discrimination.

Last month, Beijing police closed down a gay and lesbian arts festival, saying organisers did not have the necessary permission to hold the event.

Officially there are 40 million homosexuals in China, but unofficial figures suggest the number may be nearly double that.

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