Girls on film

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Kate Del Castillo and Eva Longoria

Human rights activists and fans of cinematic girl-on-girl action are bummed these days. It seems that Without Men, an English-language film starring Kate del Castillo, Christian Slater and Eva Longoria, was scrubbed from the Barcelona International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival last month when it was announced that the film’s lesbian scenes would be deleted.

“The audience will not understand the film because all the lesbian scenes are cut out,” says Xavier Daniel, director of the festival. “We’re angry that a distributor can modify the content of a film. It is unbelievable that this can happen in the year 2011.”

The movie, about a Latin American village that limps along after its male population is forcibly recruited into war, is written and directed by Gabriela Tagliavini and based on a Latino-centric novel by James Canon. It played briefly in the U.S. this past summer, and is set for wider release early next year in Spain.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel and film-fest organizers dropped the film rather than run a censored version. But Tayrona Entertainment, distributor of the film in Spain, claims they edited the film to make it more “palatable” for mainstream audiences. Company president James Ordonez backpedaled with a press statement that claimed, “Without Men was never conceived as a lesbian story but as a comedy about situations that happen to a town when all men are sent to war….”

Ordonez goes on to say that “to participate in a festival of this nature is against the [intention] of the film and will confuse target audiences.” Interesting: one of Longoria’s lesbian scenes was actually retained in the film; there’s proof in the trailer made to promote the film in Spain and Latin America, which actually features brief clips from the allegedly excised scenes. We guess Longoria’s scene is … uh, palatable.

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