Director Ellie King, an Australian-born actor and singer of Egyptian descent, portrays Fatima as a faceless character who wears a black veil. However, the protesters accused the filmmakers of inaccurately portraying religious history and portraying some of the most important Islamic figures negatively.
“Caving in to the Radical Extremists”
After four days of siege, the Cineworld series has now removed the film from all of its cinemas. On the part of the officials, the reason given was: “Ensuring the safety of our employees and customers.” In a video clip on Twitter, a cinema worker can be seen addressing the audience and confirming the film’s cancellation, followed by chanting “God is great.”
The film’s executive producer, Malek Chlebak, called the decision to withdraw “Our Lady of Heaven” “unacceptable” and accused the cinema chain of “bowing to radical extremists”. It’s about more than just one movie, “It’s about basic British rights and how much they mean to us. These groups have now been given the power to dictate what British audiences can and can’t see in local cinemas,” he wrote on Twitter.
Other cinema chains, such as Vue, decided not to remove “Lady Paradise” from the program. The official statement reads: “We only show a film after it has been rated and evaluated by the BBFC, the independent British Board of Film Classification. It has been rated by the BBFC and will therefore be shown in a number of our cinemas.”
The decision to show a film and for how long is made on a location-to-location basis in the UK, and is based on a variety of commercial and operational factors.