Algeria has banned the popular Barbie film three weeks after its release in the mainly Muslim North African nation.

The culture ministry has asked cinemas to withdraw the Hollywood blockbuster immediately.

 

The movie promoted homosexuality and did not comply with Algeria’s religious and cultural beliefs, an official source told the Reuters news agency.

 

Cinemas in the cities of Algiers, Oran and Constantine have been packed, according to 24H Algérie news website.

 

The film was officially being banned for “damaging morals”, the privately owned news website said, adding that since its release viewings had sold out every day.

 

There has been criticism in the Arab world about the movie’s social values, with Kuwait banning Barbie last week to protect “public ethics”.

 

The film, starring Hollywood A-listers Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is a coming-of-age story based on the children’s toy, where Barbie journeys to the real world and explores her identity.

 

Around the time of the film’s release, director Greta Gerwig told the New York Times that it was supposed to be “funny” and that her hope for the movie was for society to “let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men”.

 

Barbie has received a warmer welcome from leaders in other countries, such as the UK and Spain, where British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Spanish royal family were pictured on cinema outings to see it.

 

Since the movie’s release, it has grossed more than $1bn (£786m) worldwide.

 

Source:bbc.com

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