NEW DELHI, India, Sept. 9 -- Stanley Kubrick's film 'Eyes Wide Shut' won't be shown in India because some Hindus are outraged that verses from the 'Bhagavad Gita' are used as part of the backdrop to an explicit sex scene. The Press Trust of India today says Warner Brothers, the film's distributor, has apologized for offending Hindus and has promised to remove the verse from the backdrop of a group sex scene. But anticipating a stormy odyssey with India's scissors-wielding censor board, Warner Bros. has decided not to release the film in India. The 'Bhagavad Gita, or 'Song of the Blessed One,' is a philosophical dialogue considered sacred by Hindus and found in the 'Mahabharata,' one of the ancient Sanskrit epics. The Hindu verses in the movie speak of god Krishna's reassurance to Arjuna on the Kurukshetra battlefield that he will reincarnate whenever there is a decline in righteousness in the world so that he can protect the good and destroy evil. In United States, the studio altered the film by adding computer- generated human bodies to obscure certain sexual acts during the orgy scene. In Europe and Canada, the movie was shown as filmed. The Times of India newspaper says the distributor will not release the film in India due to strict censorship guidelines and stringent interpretation that has impeded the smooth passage of foreign imports like 'Elizabeth,' 'Austin Powers' and 'Such a Long Journey.' The news report quotes Denzel Diaz, operations manager of Warner Bros., as saying, 'Before the release of the film, Kubrick had insisted it should be released everywhere in its entirety, or else it should not be released at all.'
The newspaper says that even in late 1970s, the Indian censor board demanded a cut in Kubrick's 'Barry Lyndon,' of a crucial scene showing a boy being caned. When Kubrick learned about it, he demanded that the film be shown as released, or not at all. As a result, 'Barry Lyndon' was banned in India. Diaz said there was no point importing the movie into India if the censor board was going to cut it. The film, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, has been rated 'R' for 'strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug-related material.' The film kicked up a controversy in Singapore, where the authorities insisted on snipping parts of the orgy scene. However, the film has won rave reviews the world over. Stanley Kubrick died in his sleep of a heart attack in March. He was 70. ---
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