Maverick auteur Kim Ki-duk’s controversial Moebius has finally been given the greenlight by the Korean Media Rating Board (KMRB) for local release - with two and a half minutes cut from the original.

The film had already been announced as part of the Venice Film Festival’s out of competition line-up.

The film received two previous “Restricted” ratings from the KMRB, effectively banning the film from local cinemas. The ratings board cited incest, violence and a need to protect youth for its reasoning behind the ban.

The director first re-cut and re-submitted Moebius with cuts totaling one minute and 40 seconds. A second cut, removing two and a half minutes cut from the original, has resulted a “Teenager Restricted” rating, allowing it to be released in Korea.

Kim said in a statement that during the process of submitting his film, he learned that the ratings board is “strict about sex while very tolerant of cruel violence and murder. In more than 1,000 screens a day, several tens of thousands are left to watch that, but with a film that maybe 10,000 might or might not see, Moebius’ heart has been cut out and this makes me sad.”

Last month, the producers held a test screening of the latest version asking press and public to vote on whether it should be allowed a local release, saying that if 30% or more voted against it, they would not release the film regardless of the KMRB’s decision. Only 10.2% of the participants voted against it.