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Indian censorship board cuts the sex and swearing out of Moonlight

February 21, 2017

It might be one of the leading Oscar contenders, but Indian audiences won’t be seeing the full version of Moonlight.

Barry Jenkins’s critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama follows three periods in the life of Chiron, a young, black, queer man growing up poor in Miami, and his journey has been heavily cut in India.

A document posted to Reddit shows that all swearing is out, with every instance of “bitch”, “bitches”, “motherf**ker” and “dick” muted, and two sex scenes have been cut entirely, including kissing between two men.

The cuts total 53 seconds, but two minutes and 20 seconds of anti-smoking disclaimers have been added, with one appearing at the beginning and one in the middle of the movie, plus a “static message with scroll wherever smoking scene appears”.

When we saw the full version of Moonlight, we described it as a “moving and visually beautiful film that speaks not only to gay or black audiences but to all of us”.

But will it be walking away with any awards at the Oscars on Sunday (February 26)?