Qatar bans screening of 'The Girl on The Train'

Qatar bans screening of 'The Girl on The Train'
The screening of a popular psychological thriller has been banned at cinemas in Qatar with no reason given by authorities for the move.
2 min read
10 Oct, 2016
The film was due to be screened in Qatar last Friday [WireImage]

Authorities in Qatar have banned the screening of a recently released psychological thriller in local cinemas, local media reported on Sunday.

A popular cinema chain in Doha told Qatari website Doha News that the ban on The Girl on The Train had been in effect since the weekend, although no official reason was given by the censorship board.

The ban is thought to be based on sexual content and substance abuse in the film, which was due to be screened for the first time in Qatar last Friday.

Based on the debut novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins, the film's main character Rachel (played by Emily Blunt) is an alcoholic who divorced her husband after she caught him cheating on her.

She becomes entangled in a missing persons' investigation as she fantasises about the lives of a couple she sees from her commuter train every day.

Unsurprisingly, the movie has also been banned in Kuwait.

Movie goers in Qatar took to social media to voice their frustrations about the ban.

Censorship in Qatar

Qatari authorities have previously censored and banned other films that they considered contradicting local religious and traditional values.

In January, the authorities banned the screening of The Danish Girl, a film about a Danish artist who undergoes one of the world's first sex change operations.

The decision came in response to public outrage, after viewers launched the Arabic language hashtag #StopTheDanishGirlScreening in protest at the "depravity" of the film.

Social media users condemned the movie, which they said went against the country's religious and local cultural norms.

The Wolf of Wall Street, which featured explicit scenes of nudity and drug use, was also subject to censorship with nearly a quarter of its content - 50 minutes of the film - cut out before it was screened in Qatar.

Other films, such as Noah and Exodus, were banned due to sensitive religious themes.

A 2014 survey conducted by Northwestern University in Qatar found that censorship of "offensive" content was favoured in Qatar, according to Doha News.

The report found that eight out of ten people surveyed in Qatar considered it appropriate to delete scenes that could be deemed offensive.

"This support for censorship and government monitoring of entertainment content is observed across all facets of the population, except, perhaps, among Western expatriates in Qatar," the report stated.