Punjab authorities gave approval for the screening of fantasy-comedy film ‘Barbie’ in the province on Tuesday, more than 10 days after its debut in Pakistan.
The movie’s release in Punjab was halted over ‘objectionable content’, even when the Punjab Film Censor Board had issued a no-objection certificate for it. Earlier, Punjab Information Secretary Ali Nawaz Malik said the caretaker government in the province had stopped its screening on public complaints.
On Monday, Punjab interim Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi directed the censor board to take a decision about the exhibition of Holly¬wo¬¬od film today.
Subsequently, a statement issued by his office today said a meeting of the full censor board had been held during which the movie was reviewed and approval was given for its screening in Punjab.
The ‘Barbie’ movie is directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Margot Robbie as the famous doll and Ryan Gosling as her boyfriend Ken.
It was previously banned in Vietnam over scenes with a map showing China’s claims to territory in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the restriction on ‘Barbie’ is not the first instance of banning the screening of films.
In November, ‘Joyland’ — a Cannes prize-winning film and Pakistan’s entry for the 2023 Oscars — was banned by the government for being “clearly repugnant to the norms of decency and morality” of the country.
The film was later cle¬ared by the natio¬nal censor board after the government ordered a review, but remained banned in Punjab.
In 2019, the film ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ was banned after its director was accused of blasphemy by a far-right religious party for the movie’s portrayal of a religious man.