Samoa Fa'afafine Association protests censor of Elton John film

Samoa's only cinema revealed the ban on Friday on its Facebook page and employees told local media it was due to the portrayal of gay sex in the film.

In conservative Samoa - where around 98 percent of people identify as Christian - same-sex sexual relations are criminalised, although related laws are unenforced.

Churches also wield considerable influence on communities and institutions.

Sir Elton John's best movie moments

The movie, directed by Dexter Fletcher and starring Taron Egerton chronicles the colourful career of the musician; from his early life as Reginald Kenneth Dwight to becoming the knight of the rock 'n' roll realm we know today.

Speaking at the Cannes press conference, actor Bryce Dallas Howard said it was "incredibly surreal to hear Elton crying a few seats away" at the premiere. After the screening the rock star put on a surprise gig at a beach-side gala party, where he performed the film's title track alongside Egerton once again.