With the Elton John biopic doing great business and earning equally good reviews it seems the the Russian Rocketman is somewhat different from the film seen by the rest of the world. The reason lies with Central Partnership who distribute the film in Russia but have cut out all scenes depicting drug use and gay sex to adhere to the Russian federations strict enforcement against, ‘homosexual propaganda‘
So consequently Russian Rocketman is about five minutes shorter and Elton John, film star Taron Egerton and the film makers have been highly vocal in the censorship cuts saying:
‘We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today. Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Elton’s extraordinary life, warts and all. That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is 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. We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world’
Paramount studios have issued a statement in a bid to explain the censorship issue :
“We are incredibly proud of the movie that we made, which is told in the way that Elton John wanted his story to be depicted. We are releasing the film in its entirety around the world regardless of rating, but like all studios, we must adhere to local laws and requirements in certain territories in which the film is being shown.”
Those that have seen Russian Rocketman have said that the cuts removed much of the context of the story of Elton John’s life.