Samoa bans film on Harvey Milk’s life

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Samoa Censor Board has banned Milk, a film depicting the life of gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

The decision was made by principal censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui, who rejected an application for the film to be rented and sold in Samoan outlets.

Mr Fauui refused to comment on the decision, but told the New Zealand Herald that “rules and guidelines had to be followed”.

Movies4U, the island’s largest home movie outlet, are disappointed with the decision.

Their general manager, Eteuati Junior Esau said “I really just want a reason why, because my customers are demanding this movie”, adding that up to twenty people ask daily to rent the film from his stores.

Human Rights activist Ken Moala said: “I do not think it should be banned. It is basically a documentary about the human endeavour to conquer something that people tend to discriminate against.

“It’s really harmless, I don’t know how it would affect Samoan lifestyle. It is totally different and not applicable to here, it is pretty tame really.”

Moala is well known for his charitable work with minority groups on many Pacific islands and questions the double standards of the Censorship Board:

“Some of the movies that have been here are violent and horrific. When it comes to documentaries like this, I think it is all about the human story as opposed to the slaughter that goes on in some of these movies.”

Principle censor Leiataua says he will comment further on the matter pending approval from his superior, but insists that the ban on the film will not be lifted.

Homosexuality is currently illegal on Samoa.