Noah banned from screens in some Mideast countries

The film “Noah” earned an estimated $44 million at the box office in the U.S. last weekend. Its star Russell Crowe called the criticism that the film had received prior to its opening “irrational,” and said he’s happy audiences can finally see it for themselves. Crowe spoke March 26 at the New York premiere of the biblical epic, directed by Darren Aronofsky.

“Noah” has been the subject of controversy with some religious groups claiming the story has been inaccurately portrayed. The film has been banned in many Islamic countries where it’s taboo to depict a prophet. Officials from several countries in the Middle East — including Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — announced they would ban the movie from being shown. — ap