AAP Entertainment

Samoa bans Elton John film Rocketman

By AAP Newswire

Samoa's film censor has banned Elton John rock biopic Rocketman because of its gay content.

The deeply conservative Pacific nation's censorship office last week banned the film, which is based on the life of of the iconic British musician, with principal censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui telling the Samoa Observer some scenes were "not good for public viewing".

He said its depiction of sex between men "violates laws against same sex marriage" and clashed with the nation's Christians beliefs, according to the Observer.

More than 95 per cent of Samoa's population is estimated to identify with some form of Christianity and the country still has laws against sex between men.

Apollo Cinemas Samoa over the weekend announced it would not be screening the film due to "censoring issues".

The country's censors in 2009 also objected to the film Milk, which is based on the life of gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

The decision comes after Rocketman's local distributor in Russia was criticised for reportedly cutting gay scenes from the film to accommodate local laws.

Sir Elton and the film's makers condemned the Russian move and said it was a "sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".