Ban on 'Daredevil' stays


By ZIEMAN
  • Nation
  • Friday, 28 Feb 2003

BY ZIEMAN

PETALING JAYA: Despite the promotions going into high gear, the Film Censorship Board has turned down the appeal by the distributor of Daredevil to screen the movie in cinemas. 

Fifteen people who sat on the board's appeals panel gave the final verdict on Feb 21.  

The film remains banned.  

The distribution company, 21st Century Fox, has been informed and given a month from the date of the decision to collect the film and return it to its parent company in Hollywood.  

CONTINUED PROMOTIONS: Despite the ban, this gigantic poster is still prominently displayed at Plaza Pantai.

“If the distributor fails to claim the film from the board within a month, we have the right to retain the film for safekeeping for two years under the Film Censorship Act 2002; after which, we will dispose of it,” board secretary Haji Lukeman Saaid told The Star

The distributor has until March 21 to get the film back from the board. 

The movie, originally scheduled for general screening on Feb 27, was initially banned on Feb 11.  

Shortly afterwards, the distributor submitted a letter of appeal.  

“Members of the appeals panel feel the movie has violent content and other unhealthy elements.  

“The portions that require censorship were just too much. Watching it with the cuts will only make it meaningless. So, it's best that the film is banned,” said Lukeman. 

He added: “The theme of the movie is just not suitable. It focused on secret societies, the Mafia, fighting scenes using weapons and hands and a character who is a lawyer by day and a vigilante or hired killer by night.  

“Hero-worshipping someone with a devil-sounding name like Daredevil is just a no-no.” 

Among those who gave this judgment were Datin Hajah Minuira Sabki, Tan Sri Datuk Hj Abdul Kadir Talib, Datuk Kam Woon Wah and Datin Hajah Zalilah Mohd Taib.  

Prof Datuk Abu Bakar Abdul Hamid chaired the appeals committee.  

Regarding the promotions that the distributor had already started for the movie, Lukeman, who also sat on the panel, said: 

“They should have waited for our approval before doing all the promotions. They should not assume that just because they have sent in the appeal, the film is going to be approved. 

“We have given a month for the distributor, according to normal procedure, to claim back the film from us. 

“It has to send the film back to the international distributor, depending on the agreement they have. Our officers will then escort the film to the Customs office at KLIA for clearance to ensure safety.”  

Meanwhile, promotions for the film were still continuing.  

A Fox official said they had a commitment to the public and the winners of the Daredevil contest. 

“That's the risk we have to take. We have spent a lot on advertising and promotions, releases, contests, freebies and merchandising.  

“Even if the film is banned, we are committed to go ahead (with the promotions),” he said.  

A check showed the Daredevil promotional posters in most cinemas have not been taken down.  

However, Golden Screen Cinema (GSC) has withdrawn the Daredevil contest that ran on its official website. 

The ban, however, is not likely to affect the brisk sales of the video versions which are available, albeit illegally. 

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