Tunisia bans Call Me By Your Name

Oscar-nominated drama is denied a permit

by Jennie Kermode

Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name

Oscar-nominated romantic drama Call Me By Your Name has been banned in Tunisia, according to reports. The country's Ministry of Culture intervened on Wednesday to prevent a scheduled screening in the capital, Tunis, from going ahead. Distributor Lassaad Goubantini has condemned the decision, which he argues is in breach of the Tunisian constitution.

Foreign films require special permits to be screened in Tunisia. The application process is usually straightforward, though last year fans were denied the chance to see Wonder Woman because it features an Israeli star.

The ban appears to relate to the film's focus on a romantic and sexual relationship between two men. Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Tunisia, carrying a prison sentence of up to three years, but social attitudes are gradually becoming more liberal, especially among young people, and the subject is often discussed in the media. Goubantini said that preventing people from watching Call Me By Your Name was infantalising because its themes are well known and people could make their own decisions about whether or not to watch it.

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