Samoa Censorship Board’s aim in banning Rocketman “laudable”
Apia, SAMOA — The Censorship Board’s aim of upholding Samoa’s morality by banning Rocketman is “laudable,” according to filmmaker, artists and manager of Tiapapata Art Centre, Galumalemana Steven Percival.
Rocketman, the story of Elton John’s life, was banned by the Samoa Censorship Board on Thursday for its depictions of homosexual sexual activity.
Galumalemana said his own experience at Tiapapata Art Centre with artists in residence applications showed him the importance of art which fits in with Samoa’s culture, values and beliefs.
Anyone wanting to become an artist in residence must apply first, and show samples of their work, Galumalemana said.
“We had two people apply in the last two years whose work was not in keeping with the culture here, it was out there and in your face, almost obscene.
“So we declined them. They were technically skilled but their work did not sit well in Samoa… it’s a form of censorship.”
And when he makes his own art or films, Galumalemana said he considers whether his audience will accept the art in order to appreciate a message from it.
“If a viewer is offended, they won’t accept or understand the message you are trying to portray.”