Zero Dark Thirty may be challenging for an Oscar this Sunday, but you won't hear about that in Pakistan, where the movie has been reportedly erased from existence.
Kathryn Bigelow's film follows CIA agent Maya (Jessica Chastain) as she tries to find the trail of Osama Bin Laden, something that eventually leads a team of Navy Seals to a fateful encounter in Abottabad.
Given that the movie features a relatively unflattering portrayal of the country, it's understandable that the film has struggled to get a release in its few English language cinemas, but now bootleg DVDs have disappeared from the streets too, according to the AP.
“We were asked to stop selling the movie by some guys a couple of weeks after we started stocking it,” an entertainment seller told NBC.
Jessica chastain in Zero Dark Thirty (Photo: Columbia Pictures)
"Technically, no one in Pakistan is supposed to have ever seen the movie," NBC reporter Waj S. Khan wrote, although some have seen the film, with outrage provoked by its depiction of life in Pakistan.
Nadeem Farooq Karacha, a major columnist in the country's Dawn newspaper wrote: “It went ballistic bad in depicting everyday life on the streets of Pakistan.”
Part of the offence seems to have been caused by Pakistanis speaking Arabic in the movie, with Urdu a far more common tongue in the country, although the ban may have more to do with the fact that the film hints that Pakistani government forces may be in league with Al Quaeda.
Whatever the reason, there may be some slightly puzzled Pakistani film fans if Bigelow's movie wins Best Picture on Sunday.