Turkey Bans 'Pornographic' Lars Von Trier Film 'Nymphomaniac'

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Turkey's film board has banned the screening of the first part of director Lars von Trier's movie "Nymphomaniac Vol.1" at cinemas in the country because of the film's sex scenes.

Cem Erkul, who heads the Cinema General Directorate, said Wednesday the eight-member board voted 6-2 this week that the film is "pushing the boundaries of porn" and unfit for public viewing.

The film was due to be released this month.

Erkul said it decided against censoring the sex scenes from the movie because there were too many to cut out.

Its distributor can appeal the ruling in court, but the decision does not affect the film's screening at the Istanbul Film Festival next month.

The two-part film is a drama about a woman's erotic journey from birth to the age of 50.

Acclaimed Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, whose film "Three Monkeys" won the best director honor in Cannes in 2008 tweeted his condemnation of the ban. "I strongly condemn the ban on the film 'Nymphomaniac' while there is in fact a policy in place on age limit.

The Turkish ban only applies to the cinema release of the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and its showing at the Istanbul Film Festival in April has not been canceled.

The ban follows a similar ruling in Romania, which banned the theatrical release of the second part of the movie "Nymphomaniac: Vol.2." The local distributor appealed the Romanian ban, however, and the film was released as planned, The Hollywood Reporter said.

The cast of "Nymphomaniac" at the Berlin Film Festival. Credit: AP