Tunisian government bans Call Me By Your Name

Call Me by Your Name

The Tunisian government has banned the screening and distribution of Oscar-nominated film Call Me By Your Name.

A screening of the film, which tells the love story between a 17-year-old and his father’s tutee, was intended to be aired in a cinema in Tunis on Wednesday evening.

After the Tunisian Ministry of Culture intervened, the venue announced on Facebook that the event had been “cancelled” after it had been banned by the government, reported AFP.

Distributor Lassaad Goubantini denounced the decision as “an attack on liberties” motivated by “the subject of the film”.

“We filed an application for authorisation with the ministry of culture,” said Goubantini.

“We even proposed a viewing in exceptional circumstances before the screening to know if it would go ahead or not, (but) we were refused a permit.”

Such a ban “is contrary to the Tunisian constitution”, added the distributor.

It is still illegal to be gay in Tunisia.

Although the country agreed to stop the use of forced anal examinations in September 2017, gay and bi men can still face lengthy prison sentences for “practising” homosexuality.

Call Me By Your Name has been nominated for four Academy Awards this year, including Best Film and Best Original Soundtrack, which was created by Sufjan Stevens.