“Banned in Boston” used to be a good hook years ago for promoting a controversial book or movie. Conventional wisdom seemed to be that if something was too hot for the stodgy elite of Boston, it must be pretty good.

But times have changed and Boston now has an openly gay congressman. So Beantown may get bumped, as Salt Lake City (SLC) assumes the conservative title.

A gay film titled Latter Days, which features a Mormon missionary who does more than proselytize on his mission in LA, has made Mormons angry and is apparently banned in Utah’s capital reports Associated Press.

This “coming out” story is not something Mormon leaders appear to appreciate. The film’s dark humor includes the missionary’s co-religionists trying to literally jolt him out of it, through “aversion therapy” with electrocution.

A Mormon theater owner in SLC said, “We thought it lacked artistic merit. If it has merit, we play it.”

But a Mormon moviemaker with dubious “artistic” credentials and no previous feature film credits didn’t have a problem arranging a venue in Salt Lake for the opening of his “Book of Mormon” movie. Many of the faithful made a pilgrimage out of that premiere reported the Salt Lake Herald-Tribune.

Threats of a boycott were made regarding running the gay film in Utah, subsequently its opening was cancelled reports Zap.

Mormons like movies about Mormons, but apparently only those made by Mormons in good standing and/or with an approved story line.

A gay ex-Mormon made the film Latter Days.

Interestingly, Mormons recently complained that nonbelievers don’t seem to properly appreciate their films reports NPR.

Maybe it’s because they “lacked artistic merit”?

Whatever criteria LDS leaders and critics apply to films one thing is for sure, banning Later Days will probably give the movie some buzz and a boost at the box office.

Maybe the mantra for this film should be “See the film Mormons banned in Salt Lake”?


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