Jordan cancels short film dealing with sperm smuggling

Jordan has decided to remove a short film that deals with the topic of “sperm smuggling” because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, local media say.

The decision follows a call from Jordan’s Palestinian community on Saturday for a “negative campaign” against the movie “Me to Ourselves”, whose premiere last week has been cancelled.

The three-minute short, by Saudi filmmaker Abdulrahman Majid, deals with a group of married Saudi men smuggling their wives’ sperm overseas in hopes of starting a family.

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Promotional video seen by AFP

On Saturday, posters featuring Majid went up in the West Bank town of Ramallah to publicise the “terrorist” movie and invite the community to watch it on Friday.

The posters also called on people to fight the movie by telling TV channels and public forums to “jettison it from their schedules.”

The posters came as in a statement the committee behind a key pro-Palestinian rally held in July to highlight Israel’s detention of Jordanians and Palestinians over alleged national security offences rallied around a campaign to stop the movie’s screening.

The “ethics and values committee” of the October 25-27 “National Protest against Settlements”, which drew up to 100,000 people in a mass rally in Amman, urged the “boycott/demonstration” against “the movie with objectionable content on its agenda.”

It added the move would “get rid of the message that dialogue in Palestine’s dialogue between Jews and Arabs will not help in bringing about peace, stability and prosperity.”

The committee said it did not see the film as disrespectful to Muslims and said its scenes would not insult Islam, but “rather serve to light up the eyes of Palestinian youth to restore their dignity”.

“Me to Ourselves” won one of the main prizes at a film festival in Jordan in November.

It opens in cinemas later this month.

The Palestinian ambassador to Jordan, Ahmad Al-Qamis, told AFP on Monday that the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates also asked the Jordanian government to cancel the movie’s screening.

“I have information the ambassador of the UAE asked the government of Jordan to cancel the screening of the movie because of the sensitivity of the issue and to respect the Palestinian people’s will,” Qamis said.

The embassy did not immediately comment.

In a statement issued on Monday, the US Embassy in Amman said it was monitoring the situation.

The film was planned to be screened at a youth club in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nablus, it said.

“We are deeply concerned about the very sensitive situation that has unfolded recently around the proposed screening of this movie,” it said.

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