x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

‘No decision yet’ on release of Hollywood film Noah in UAE

The National Media Council has yet to decide if Noah will be shown in the UAE. An announcement is expected within the next two days.

ABU DHABI // No decision has yet been made on the release of Hollywood film Noah in the UAE, despite indications from Paramount Pictures that it will not be shown.

“We will give an answer on this film in the next two days,” said Ibrahim Al Abed, director general of the National Media Council.

“We have not yet made our final decision,” he said.

“The film is still under review and we are awaiting a final decision from the director general,” said Juma Obaid Al Leem, director of media content at the National Media Council.

“Once he has made his decision, we shall announce if the film will be shown or not,” he said.

The NMC inspects the content of movies ahead of their release in the UAE to ensure that local cultural and religious sensitivities are adhered to.

According to news agency Reuters, Paramount Pictures has indicated that the movie will not be shown in Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

“Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) officially confirmed this week that the film will not release in their countries,” a representative from Paramount Pictures told Reuters.

“The official statement they offered in confirming this news is because ‘it contradicts the teachings of Islam’.”

Islam forbids the depiction of holy figures in art.

The film, which cost US$125 million to produce, stars Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe as Noah, alongside Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly.

The film was directed by Darren Aronofsky, who previously directed Black Swan, The Wrestler and The Fountain.

It is scheduled for release in the US on March 28.

The adaptation tells the story from the Bible’s Book of Genesis, where Noah builds an ark to save his family and pairs of animals from the great flood.

ksinclair@thenational.ae