While "Bruno" film was undergoing final editing before going on to the mass audience, one had an impression that this scandalous film would be very much on everybody's lips only in the US where gay movements are very strong and where the leading LGBT organizations express concerns over the possibility that this film would disseminate stereotypes and lead to the growth of gay hate crimes. However, the surprise was invented not by the US but by Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authorities banned showing the film thus making a long lasting impression on British press. After "The Guardian" first aired such concerns other leading English-language LGBT sites around the world posted the news about Ukraine's action, in particular - GCN.ie:
"The movie was due for release in the post-Soviet country next week but Ukraine's culture and tourism ministry is poised to prevent it being shown, news reports in Ukraine suggest. The ministry has yet to explain its decision, but it is thought that several of the scenes - among them a mock gay parade, and another involving nudity - were likely to offend conservative and religious opinion. Gay rights are not regarded favourably in Ukraine's Catholic west and orthodox east, and it is believed that the film does not hold with traditional values."
The Ukrainian TV channel STB prepared the news report about "Bruno"'s ban in that country.
Report transcription follows:
News anchor: "Bruno" - is an exciting voyage through America aimed to make heterosexual studs feel uncomfortable in the presence of a gay-foreigner who wears a T-Shirt in a mesh". All that you have heard is the name of a new Hollywood blockbuster that you will not be able to see. Ukraine has banned its demonstration. Vladimir Zavadnjuk tried to find an answer to the question - Why do censors not want their compatriots to see "Bruno"?
The correspondent: "A news writer from Austria travels around the world, wears meshy and lacy clothes, happily and openly declares to everyone he gets acquainted with that he is a gay. Bruno is a new movie hero of our days. Sasha Baron Cohen plays the role of Bruno and he is also the director of the "Borat" - a scandalous movie that went out on the screens two years ago, a comedy about Kazakh journalist Borat that has caused an international scandal. The present film, that nowadays breaks popularity records throughout the world, has caused the scandal ONLY in Ukraine. 10 out of 18 experts from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine have decided that Bruno has nothing to do in Ukraine: "The foreign movie "Bruno" has asocial character, includes homosexual scenes that in its turn contain perversions. That's why it can not be demonstrated freely in Ukraine" (the Board of experts on the issues of film distribution of the Ukrainian ministry of culture).
News correspondent: Aksinya Kurina is the 14th expert of 18 in that Board. She said "Yes" to "Bruno". She has seen no perversions in this film.
Aksinya Kurina: "It is one of the best films that I have ever seen lately! I wish happiness to everyone!".
Gay activist: There is something to laugh at and something to watch! I do not see any very much vulgar or harsh thing in this film.
News correspondent: Bruno is a hero of gays. Kiev's gays are worrying because they have been expecting to see this film's premiere since this spring. They have known about the Mincult's (Ministry of culture) decision only today via the Internet and have immediately proclaimed every cinema critic and expert a homophobe. They say that notwithstanding any ban they would watch this film together with the whole gay community.
Gay activist: We will watch it at every possibility. Usually we (gays, lesbians, bisexuals) gather here together and watch the film.
News correspondent: Ukrainian gays have unexpectedly received support from the British journalists. In today's issue of "The Guardian" a big article is printed about the ban of the "Bruno" demonstration in Ukraine. "Ukrainian Catholic west and Orthodox east do not favor sexual minorities. The example of such an attitude is the ban on "Bruno"'s distribution. One of the reasons for such a decision to impose this ban would have been the forthcoming elections".
News correspondent: The common people of Ukraine in its majority are not informed about the censored film. The "Okna" programme on the local STB TV channel decided to fill in this information gap. We show film's trailers to passers-by.
Passer-by: "A very real-life film!"
Passer-by 2: "Well, I have already seen nude scenes and I am not surprised or ashamed. I do not care."
Passer-by 3: "I think that this film would be about sex, most likely".
News correspondent: The people of Ukraine anyway will have an opportunity to see homosexual tricks of Bruno from Austria but in closed viewings. The last Cohen's film "Borat" was demonstrated in the same (closed viewing) way in Kiyv two years ago.
Translated by Yerdna Bananes