‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ Can’t Play Idaho Theater Due to ‘Obscenity’

Arthouse theater is the only screen in Boise that plays foreign, independent films

If Idahoans are hoping to feast their eyes on Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Blue is the Warmest Color” in a theater, they’ll have to cross state lines to do so.

The Flicks, a Boise arthouse that corners the market on foreign and indie pics showing in the area, won’t go near the NC-17 rated film due to the strict parameters of the Idaho Code, reports the Boise Weekly.

The  code that allows exhibs’ to serve beer and wine also forbids theaters from screening movies that are in violation of Idaho’s code on indecency and obscenity. The Flicks’ liquor license is tied directly to Idaho Code 23-614, which prohibits “acts or simulated acts of sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation and flagellation,” and “any person being touched, caressed or fondled on the breast, buttocks, anus or genitals.”

And it’s no secret that the stars of Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue” are caught in more than one of those acts.

After the film’s award-winning bow in Cannes, speculation spread as to whether Sundance Selects would release a tamer cut in the U.S. to score an R rating and draw in a wider audience.

But Jonathan Sehring, prexy of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said in a statement, “This is a landmark film with two of the best female performances we have ever see on screen. The film is first and foremost a film about love, coming of age and passion. We refuse to compromise Kechiche’s vision by trimming the film for an R rating, and we have every confidence that ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ will play in theaters around the country regardless.”

Idaho residents, however, will be able to see the film in the intimacy of their own homes when IFC releases it on VOD after the theatrical release.

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