LGBTQ+-focused UK distributor Peccadillo Pictures has claimed Amazon Prime Video UK is refusing to make Canadian artist and filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s provocative dark comedy St. Narcissus available on its online store.

The company’s chief executive, Tom Abell, said his application to list the title on Amazon’s UK online offering was rejected without explanation.

The comedic, psycho-sexual thriller – which was the closing film of Venice’s parallel section Giornate degli Autori (Venice Days) in 2020 – revolves around a narcissistic young man who discovers he has an identical twin. This unknown brother was raised in captivity by an evil priest. When fate brings the couple together, they embark on an incestuous web of revenge and redemption.

Abell said: “We are completely puzzled as to why Amazon Prime Video is refusing to make the critically acclaimed film. St. Narcissus available to its customers, here in the UK and abroad.

“When their system initially refused to take the film, we pointed out that it was available on Amazon in the United States and France, and then it was removed from those platforms as well, although it remained there for over six month. The DVD continues to be sold by Amazon but they are not releasing it,” he continued.

The film, rated “18” without cuts by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), was previously available on Amazon Prime Video in the United States and France, but was removed in May.

A source familiar with the matter at Amazon said a decision on whether the film will be made available on the UK platform is still under consideration, but Abell stands by his version of events, saying the title was denied. . We’ve reached out to the streamer for clarity.

Abell said, “While this hugely entertaining film is filled with the scandals and provocations that characterize Bruce LaBruce, we don’t know whether Amazon’s objections relate to the film’s themes, or particular sequences, or a combination.”

He continued, “I am truly puzzled as there are many other films available on Amazon Prime Video that explore similar themes, and several that are much more sexually explicit. It’s somewhat alarming to see the company’s growing trend of denying certain queer films access to its platform.

Another source close to the title confirmed that St. Narcissus had been quietly removed from Amazon in the United States and France without explanation.

Responding to the alleged ban, cult leader LaBruce said, “It’s almost reassuring to know that I can still be banned or censored these days. What interests me is that it is not the sexual explicitness of St. Narcissus this prevents it from being shown on Amazon Prime – there is none – but the film’s subversive and thought-provoking sexual themes and implications.

“For smaller independent films and distributors, decisions like this make it even more difficult than it already is to produce and promote works on their own. I’m curious to know precisely what has prompted the platform at such a high level of responsibility.”

Abell noted that the company had a similar experience with the Chilean prison drama and the Venice Queer Lion winner. The prince in 2020. In this case, Peccadillo was informed that the film contained “offensive content” that went against the streamer’s guidelines.

“This movie was originally ‘banned’ by Amazon from streaming in the US and that ban was enforced here when we came to release it, although they continued to sell the movie on DVD,” said he declared.

He claimed that other LGBTQ+ titles shut out of Amazon’s online platform in recent years included John Cameron Mitchell’s re-release. small bus and compilation of short films The male gaze: nocturnal instincts.