South Korea's Supreme Court has
overturned a ban on Shortbus, a US film which had been banned
for its gay content and explicit sex scenes.
On Friday, the court ordered the
country's rating board to lift the ban on the 2006 film.
Written and directed by John Cameron
Mitchell, Shortbus includes several scenes depicting group
orgies involving both gay and straight couples.
“As a whole, the film cannot be
regarded as simply lewd material with little artistic value,” the
court said in a statement. “Therefore the decision to restrict its
screening is not legitimate.”
“The rating board's decision to ban
screening [of the movie] was an abuse of authority,” the court
While banned, the film has been
screened in conservative South Korea. Audiences managed to view the
movie at film events and festivals which remain free from the strict
restrictions of the Korea Media Rating Board.
The movie's South Korean distributor,
Sponge ENT, had sued after it failed to receive approval from
authorities in 2007.
The ruling comes after a July
Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional one provision in the law
that censors movies; calling the law “ambiguous.”
Shortbus, which stars a mostly
unknown cast, is considered a cult hit. The movie had its world
premiere at the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival.