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'Noah' Movie Faces Ban In Arab Countries

Parmount's "Noah" is facing trouble in the Middle East as Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE have already banned the film for portaying a prophet.
Posted at 12:10 PM, Mar 09, 2014

Hollywood has it's fair share of harsh critics, but parts of the Middle East are presenting a new problem — the film "Noah" is being banned in parts of the Middle East and north Africa for breaking Islamic law by portraying a prophet. 

The film, starring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, tells the biblical story of Noah's Ark. Noah, being a prophet for Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths is the crux of the issue for Middle Eastern countries. (Via Paramount Pictures / "Noah"

Israeli paper Haaretz reported that an Egyptian Islamic cultural institution called for Egypt to ban the film because of the way of "characterizes Allah’s prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Mohammed]."

A supporter told Al Arabiya"Depicting prophets opens the door for questioning their behavior … Actors cannot accurately imitate the behaviors, manners and appearances of prophets."

With censorship boards in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates already banning the film and Egypt on the fence, you'd think it couldn't be any worse for the film. But there have been waves of trouble back home too. 

A writer at The Guardian notes: ​"The film has already caused controversy amid reports that US fundamentalist Christian groups were dismayed at Aronofksy's decision to produce a loose adaptation of the Bible story rather than a literal retelling."

That, explains The Guardian, prompted Paramount Pictures to release a statement saying the film is only a depiction and not a direct translation of the story.

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Showing that he isn't putting much stock in the issue, Variety quotes director Darren Aronofksy saying "The controversy is all about the unknown and about the fear of people trying to exploit a Bible story. It will all disappear as soon as people start seeing the film." 

Noah is currently due to open in Egypt on March 26 and in the U.S. two days later.