The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste), which scooped a trio of prizes at last year's Cannes festival, has finally been cleared for release in censorious Singapore.
The film, produced and sold internationally by France's MK2, is a study of sexual desperation and involves scenes of frenzied grappling and female self-mutilation. But the scene that most irked the Singaporean censors, was one where the heroine visits a peep show. After some nine months of negotiation, the Board of Film Censors and art-house distributor Overseas Movie Distribution agreed a five second cut to that scene, but no other changes.
The film was originally scheduled to have had its local premiere at the Singapore Film Festival last October. Overseas' executive Chum Kimtick says it is now likely to open in early July.
Despite its difficult subject matter, the film has been a commercial success. According to MK2 it has been seen byu over 1.5 million people internationally, for a gross exceeding $9m, and some 650,000 in France.
Directed by Austrian Michael Haneke, The Piano Teacher won the Grand Jury prize at Cannes and the acting Palmes for stars Isabelle Huppert and Benoit Magimel.