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Malaysia set to rule on ‘Schindler’ ban

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The cabinet of this country’s Muslim government will decide today whether to lift the ban on “Schindler’s List,” a decision that will seal the film’s fate here.

Film buffs who have been traveling south to Singapore to escape the ban and catch the film feel there is a glimmer of hope for an affirmative solution.

They are encouraged by Deputy Prime Minister Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s remark a few days ago that a second look was merited at the film’s “inherent message” about genocide. In the first look, the film was banned on the grounds that it “incites sympathy for one race” (Daily Variety, March 21).

Meanwhile, supporters of the film, notably distributor United Intl. Pictures, have protested strongly against the ban imposed by the Malay film censorship board, which is under the direction of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The board has been asked to look at “Schindler’s List””in a broader context”; to consider the pic’s parallel to contemporary issues such as the ongoing civil war in the former Yugoslavia; and to rise “above the mundane and the mediocre” and not merely look at scenes of sex and violence.

The censorship board told UIP that 25 scenes of sex and violence needed to be excised.

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