You can’t please everyone, and it is confirmed by the fact that many great movies have both won prestigious awards AND have been banned from countries around the world, including, for some, their home country. Here are some films that haven’t been shown in some countries due to their content.
Rafiki – Banned in its home country, Kenya
The 2018 movie picturing a lesbian love story has been forbidden to screen in its own country, Kenya, still very conservative and homophobic. The Kenyan authorities have accused it of “promoting lesbianism” (like that would be a bad thing). Still, the censorship has been temporarily lifted, so the film would be eligible for Oscars. It has already won awards at the Chicago International Film Festival and at the Carthage Film Festival (best music and best actress).
Last Tango in Paris – Banned by the Bologna Court, Italy
When the movie was first released in 1972, its violent and sexual content raised strong objections to it being screened. The Bologna Court banned the movie for two months. In the end, the Last Tango has travelled the world and won many awards, even one in its home country (Golden Goblets, Best Director).
The Last Temptation of Christ – Banned in Mexico, Chile, Argentina
The Martin Scorsese 1988 movie depicts the life of Jesus in a way that hasn’t pleased everyone. Religious organisations have tried to get it banned from screens, and it was censored in several countries such as Mexico, Chile and Argentina. These restrictions didn’t prevent the movie from winning awards at the Venice Film Festival and National Board of Review.
The Wolf of Wall Street – Banned in Malaysia and Nepal
Oops, Scorsese did it again. With the 2013 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, he has won a Golden Globes award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture and the Movie of the Year at AFI Awards, but also several countries’ disapproval. The movie has been banned in Malaysia and Nepal, and some scenes have been cut in the versions that screened in India and Lebanon.
It’s not because you get banned from conservative countries that you can’t win awards; remember that when you feel like writing a script with tons of cocaine. Also, don’t write it. Blow was disappointing enough.