Ferrara's movie, in which Gerard Depardieu portrays disgraced former International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has already screened throughout Europe, picking up some of the best reviews of the director's career, but studio bosses at IFC Films, the U.S. distributor, have opted not to release that version.

Instead, the film has been re-cut and re-edited without Ferrara's participation or permission, and the acclaimed moviemaker is furious.

Ferrara is particularly upset with the changes made to a rape scene between two of the leading characters, which is now depicted as a flashback.

The director says, "The version being released in the U.S. may lead viewers to think that maybe she (rape victim) imagined it. It does not respect the woman who was raped at all and the fact that my name is on this film is a crime."

In a statement, obtained by WENN, the director adds, "As a filmmaker and a human being, I detest the destruction of my film WELCOME TO NEW YORK now being distributed by IFC and Wild Bunch and exhibited on Showtime and in IFC Theatres. Behind all these entities are individuals... who feel they can deny my contractual right of final cut, which is simply my freedom of expression.

"Some people wear hoods and carry automatic weapons, others sit behind their desks but the attack and attempted suppression of the rights of the individual are the same. I will defend the right of free speech till the end and I ask all who believe, as I do, that they not support the showing of this film, on their networks, in their theatres, or wherever."