‘The scene had to be cut, but the reality of popular culture’ was ‘simply intolerable,’ says director
A beach in Spain has had to be renamed after a row erupted when a scene in a movie deemed controversial for showing casual sex was approved by planners.
Spanish-language film Salva Domingo, aka Untold Story of Heroin, starring Angelica Rivera and Sandro Perretti, will now be known as Ya marido in the town of Villarica, where the film was shot in 2012.
Town council officials said on Friday that they were taking the unusual decision after council speaker-elect Mario Cazorla said the decision to award a new title had been taken because “the scene had to be cut, but the reality of popular culture was simply intolerable”.
Cazorla said the scene depicting two actors having casual sex in a hotel was not intended to promote prostitution, and described the film’s producer, Madrid-based media company Tamara Films, as a “poster boy” for “illegal material which has no place in the tourist centre of Villarica”.
Alberto Martinez, a councillor, said the council wanted to draw a line under the issue, which flared into the open last month after comments by municipal tourism secretary Alfonso Ponsa in a local newspaper.
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Ponsa, who is married to a Tamara Films employee, said the theme of untold story of heroos (drug addicts) was not appropriate for tourism because “love and affection are not things that should be felt or exhibited during our daytime hours”.
Cazorla said a film exhibition would be held to explain the council’s thinking and calm any public controversy.
“It would be a fine example for people who care about decency and respect for the heritage of Villarica that, as a brand ambassador for it, Tamara Films has agreed to call the film Ya marido,” he said.
“I say to Tamara Films, ‘hello, hello! You’re welcome to our city, and Ya marido has come to Villarica to make a statement’.”
Rivera, who plays the bossy mayor in the film, said she did not view the film as pornographic and did not consider the re-naming to be an attack on its content.
“We never viewed the movie as pornographic,” she said. “I think the council will respect our judgment that the scene did not constitute illegal material.”
The film, which focuses on the lives of Mexican and US drugs dealers, was shot in partnership with George Clooney’s production company, Smokehouse Pictures.