Last month, it was Deadpool. This month, it’s Batman v Superman. Fans in India will be seeing an edited version of the film after the country’s censor board determined that one scene showing “a fleeting nude figure” was too much for Indian theater goers.
Although the film, which is set to release later this month, has been rated by the Central Board of Film Certification as UA — the rough equivalent of PG-13 — DNA India reported that the depiction of an exposed lower back would need to be cut. A source from the board that spoke with DNA India:
The CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) was very keen that the film be seen by youngsters. But some of the content isn’t completely suitable for viewing by underage audiences. While the violence is done in the spirit of a comicbook adventure, the film was rated UA (suitable for underage viewers accompanied by an adult), with just one visual cut… of a fleeting nude figure.
Recently, the country has begun to crack down on Hollywood films, more closely regulating scenes that include heavy use of profanity and depictions of sex and violence. Prior to Batman v. Superman, Deadpool received the censorship treatment, the board scrubbing the film clean of its profanity and nude love scenes and outright replacing some moments that they deemed too violent.
Thankfully, it was just the one scene Batman v. Superman and not the whole film, but India isn’t the only country that has censored some of Hollywood’s biggest releases. Uzbekistan, Malaysia, and China all either censored or outright banned Deadpool from their screens, and China in particular has a long history censoring both international and domestic productions if they are not in line with the government’s strict rules about what the Chinese public is allowed to view.
Although Batman v. Superman is anticipated to be a hit in the United States (fleeting nude figure and all), the actions of the India’s censorship board further demonstrate just how fragile the state of free expression continues to be in other countries around the world.
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Contributing Editor Caitlin McCabe is an independent comics scholar who loves a good pre-code horror comic and the opportunity to spread her knowledge of the industry to those looking for a great story!