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Noah banned in Indonesia
Russell Crowe in Noah. Picture: AP

Russell Crowe says he's angry that some of the biggest critics of his Hollywood epic Noah haven't seen the film.

His comments come as censors in Indonesia rejected the blockbuster film because of its portrayal of a religious figure.

The big-budget film, which opens in Australia on Thursday, has been blocked by censors in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates because it could offend Muslim viewers by depicting a prophet.

Indonesia followed on Monday with a unanimous decision by the Indonesian Censorship Board.

Crowe says he understands the reaction of some countries but he's angry that Noah's biggest critics haven't even seen the film.

"When you know that in the Koran Noah is a prophet, and you also know in the Islamic world you're not supposed to render any artworks or images of a prophet ... you know certain countries are going to be banning this film when it comes out, so you understand that.

"I've been amazed at the gall at some of these commentators to make these ridiculous assumptions about something they haven't even seen," Crowe told the Seven Network.

Early US reviews of Noah, made by acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky with a $130 million budget, have been mixed.

Indonesian Censorship Board member Zainut Tauhid Sa'adi told news website detik that anyone who shows the film will be punished.

He said the board was responding to the values of a society "which highly respects religion and the value of unity".

"We're not following or tailing other countries," he said.

Catherine Keng, corporate secretary of Indonesia's largest cinema chain Cinema 21, said it would comply.

The move has disappointed some Indonesian film critics.

Mumu Aloha, managing editor of detik's entertainment website detikHot, branded the censorship board's reasoning as "stupid".

"This great nation is being 'protected' by a bunch of dwarf people sitting in an institution which has the tendency to censor anything," he wrote to his Facebook followers.

"Pity us all!"

Meanwhile, Crowe says he personally invited the Pope via Twitter to watch Noah because he "fundamentally" believed the Pontiff would be "fascinated" by the film.

The West Australian

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