Zimbabweans going to the movies will have to watch a tame version of "Fifty Shades of Grey" after censors ordered an edit of the film adaption of the bestselling erotic novel.
The censors demanded that erotic scenes from the R-rated drama be deleted before it is shown in the southern African country.
"There are scenes in the film that are just too indecent to be shown to the public," said Isaac Chiranganyika, the Board of Censors secretary, said on Friday. The film based on EL James' book of the same name, explores themes of bondage and domination.
Movie theatres in Zimbabwe will only be allowed to show a censored version of the film. While most theatres have agreed to run the chopped-up version, one theater in the capital Harare said it won't screen "Fifty Shades of Grey" at all, because heavy censorship would remove too much.
"It was felt that heavy censorship would compromise the integrity of the film," the Sam Levy Village shopping center, site of the movie theater, said on its Facebook page.
Zimbabwean artists and filmmakers have regularly criticized the board's decisions to censor works that were seen as too erotic, violent or political. The board's chairman, Heya Malaba, 95, has been uncompromising about erotic movie scenes in the past.
For those who want to watch the whole film, pirated copies should soon be available on city street corners.
"I just have to wait a week or so and I will be buying 'Fifty Shades of Grey' for $1 from the vendors," said Harare resident Stam Zengeni. "So no problem."