Authorities in Singapore have banned “Radiance of Resistance,” a U.S.-made documentary about the Palestinian-Israel conflict as see through the eyes of two Palestinian girls. The film had been set to screen Thursday at the Singapore Palestinian Film Festival held at independent cinema The Projector.
The Info-communications Media Development Authority gave the film a Not Allowed for All Ratings classification, which means it cannot be shown in any circumstances in Singapore. The IMDA said that the film had a “skewed narrative” and could cause disharmony among races and religions in Singapore.
While NAR ratings are considered quite rare, at least three were issued in November.
“Radiance” was directed by Jesse Roberts and has played on the international festival circuit since 2016.
The festival said that the NAR decision came too late to make an appeal and too late to find alternative programming. It cancelled the screening, and refunded .
Singapore’s censors objected to three titles in the government-backed showcase Singapore International Film Festival. They included Barbet Schroeder’s “The Venerable W,” Singaporean director Chew Tzr Chuan “Shadows of Fiendish Ancestress and Occasionally Parajanov on Durian Cialis,” as well as “the Nameless Boy,” by Indonesian director Diego Batara Mahameru. The three had been announced in the festival’s lineup, but had to be removed before screenings took place.
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The Singapore government position on the Middle East is support for a two-state solution.
In full, the ruling on “Radiance” is: “The film explores the Palestine-Israeli conflict through the eyes of the two young protagonists, without counterbalance. The documentary focuses on the Tamimi family, and two young girls, who are presented as the new faces of Palestinian resistance. In holding up the girls as role models to be emulated in an ongoing conflict, the film incites activists to continue their resistance against the alleged oppressors. The skewed narrative of the film is inflammatory and has the potential to cause disharmony amongst the different races and religions in Singapore. The film is therefore not allowed for all ratings. This is in accordance with the Classification Guidelines which states, ‘films that create misunderstanding or disharmony amongst the races’ will not be allowed for all ratings.”