A number of movie theatre chains throughout the United Kingdom have pulled the new indie film “The Lady of Heaven,” which tells the story of Fatima, the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. It was released in the UK on 3 June.
Two days later the film was yanked from Cineworld screens and also withdrawn from Showcase Cinemas and some (but not all) Vue cinemas. The chains had bowed to pressure from people accusing the film of “blasphemy.” The Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella organisation, has described the film as “divisive”. Naturally, the sudden decision to withdraw the film has met with cries of censorship from free-speech campaigners and politicians.
Vue meanwhile has had to weather its own storm earlier this month when it denied cancelling screening of found-footage horror “DASHCAM.” According to a Vue spokesperson the decision was made “purely by the commercial conditions not being viable.” Translation; nobody wanted to see a movie shot on an iPhone that received really bad reviews.