A month after its national release, the French film La Belle Saison about a farm girl who runs away to Paris in the 1970s and falls in with a group of radical feminists, has run into a hurdle in the town of Camaret-sur-Aigues in the country’s Vaucluse department.
The poster for the French-Belgian co-production — known as Summertime in English — features lots of skin with actors Cécile de France and Izïa Higelin wrapped around each other and about to kiss.
And while the poster can be seen around the town of Camaret-sur-Aigues, it won’t be featuring on the government’s website because it has been deemed too steamy by authorities.
The “image could disturb” young viewers, National Front mayor Philippe de Beauregard told regional newspaper Le Dauphiné libéré, explaining his decision.
“I’ve seen the film and there are numerous scenes that could upset young viewers, and there are now warnings or age restrictions,” he told the paper.
But de Beauregard denied accusations of homophobia. “If it (the film) was about a heterosexual relationship, I would have had the same reaction. These are erotic scenes in close-up which aren’t meant for all viewers,” de Beauregard said.
La Belle Saison has been called a “beautifully realized tearjerker”, and is one of five films contending for submission as the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar in 2016.
The controversy over the film's poster comes as artist Anish Kapoor backtracked and announced he would allow anti-Semitic graffiti to be removed from his “queen's vagina” artwork at France's Palais de Versailles.