Bruno – the latest fictional character to be brought to the screen by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen – will not be making any public appearances in Ukraine. The Culture Ministry in Kyiv has decided that the comedy about a flamboyant gay Austrian fashion reporter is too explicit for Ukrainians’ sensibilities.
From Reuters: A culture ministry commission concluded that "Bruno" included an "artistically unjustified exhibition of sexual organs and sexual relations, homosexual acts in a blatantly graphic form, obscene language, sadism, and anti-social behavior which could damage the moral upbringing of our citizens.”
For a trailer which may or may not damage one's moral upbringing, click here
Dennis Ivanov of Arthouse Traffic, the distribution company promoting the film, noted that the ban is likely to make "Bruno" even more popular in underground circles as a pirated video.
Baron Cohen’s last film, “Borat
,” featured a naïve journalist from Kazakhstan who traveled around the United States, pestering ordinary Americans (non-actors who weren't in on the joke) with culturally insensitive questions. The film raised eyebrows in Kazakhstan, but led to a PR backlash rather than an outright ban.
If any country has a particular reason to take issue with “Bruno,” it would be Austria, rather than Ukraine. Cohen’s character – again traveling the United States – dreams of becoming "the biggest Austrian superstar since Hitler.”