x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

UAE media authority denies making cuts to The Wolf of Wall Street

According to the National Media Council, the film had 45 minutes of content removed by the distributor before it was brought to them.

Leonardo DiCaprio filming on location for 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' in New York City. James Devaney/WireImage
Leonardo DiCaprio filming on location for 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' in New York City. James Devaney/WireImage

ABU DHABI // The National Media Council said it was not responsible for the major cuts to newly released film, The Wolf of Wall Street.

According to the authority, the film had 45 minutes of content removed by the distributor, Gulf Film, before it was brought to them.

A number of cinema-goers complained after seeing the edited version of the controversial movie, riddled with profanity, graphic sexual scenes and images of drug use.

Today the National Media Council insisted the cuts were done by the distributor before they saw the full version of the movie.

“They cut the film before we saw it,” said Juma Obaid Al Leem, director of media content at the NMC.

“We did not touch the movie. They said that they made the changes because it will be used in all the GCC.”

Mr Al Leem said they have instructed the distributor to ensure that all future films are to be brought to them in their original state before censorship.

“We knew that the film was three hours, but in the state we saw it, the film was two hours and 15 minutes – so more than 45 minutes had been cut,” he said.

“We told them that in the future that we should see the full film first.

“Usually the cuts are not this long. I explained to the distributor if I put myself as a normal person and I wanted to take my family to see a film which I thought was three hours but in fact was two hours and 15 minutes, and because of the cuts we cannot understand the film, this is not normal.”

Mr Al Leem said that the rules surrounding the cutting of films in the UAE may be different from other parts of the GCC.

UAE movie-goers were left bewildered when viewing The Wolf of Wall Street, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, as many sections of the film have been removed due to offensive content.

The movie contains scenes of drug use, sex and violence deemed unfit for viewing by the regional distributor.

Many complained that the extensive cuts left the film’s plot confusing and hard to watch.

Reel Cinemas in the Dubai Mall informed its customers of the heavy editing by placing a sign in its foyer stating that it does not control the cuts made to the film.

The movie’s distributor, Gulf Film, has yet to comment.

ksinclair@thenational.ae