All the stuff you won't see in Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' if you watch it in China

movies 28/03/2019

China has scrubbed at least ten scenes with gay references from the Oscar-winning biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

The film about the lead singer Freddie Mercury and British rock band Queen has earned more than 50 million yuan (NZ$11 million) in box office revenue since opening in Chinese art house cinemas on Friday, according to Alibaba Pictures.

But at least three minutes of the film, including a kiss with a male guest, are missing.

"In effect, it feels like the whole movie has been cut - though in reality, it's only a three-minute cut," said one commentator on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

"The film itself is not trying to highlight anything, but when we deliberately make deletions, it makes these things sensitive," said another.

Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but activists say the conservative attitudes of some have prompted occasional government clamp-downs.

Beijing-based film analyst Shi Yedong said it was unusual that Bohemian Rhapsody had even passed China's censors in the current circumstances.

"The censorship is getting more and more intense on film and television," he said.

Earlier this year, the uneditted verion we saw in NZ cleaned up at the Golden Globes and Rami Malek won an Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury.