Director: Paul Yule
This ambitious British documentary takes an unusual and refined look at the most recent and controversial cases of censorship in the United States. A number of senators are seen on their crusade against 'state financed' pornography and blasphemy, among them the notorious Jesse Helms.
Paul Yule's motivation to make the documentary is the recent developments in censorship in the USA, where Christian fundamentalists have successfully lobbied to have works of 'obscene art' removed from public exhibits. At the centre of this controversy are photographs by the recently deceased Robert Mapplethorpe, works of Andres Serrano ('Piss Christ), as well as rap songs by 2 Live Crew and Madonna's video 'Like A Prayer1.
Featured in the film is the Reverend Don Wildmon, head of the American Family Association, which has subsequently demanded from the filmmakers $5 million punitive damages. Wildmon has claimed that any American release requires his contractual approval. Yule believes that Wildmon merely wants to hold up screenings of the film because of the graphic images it contains. But with the threat of litigation, screenings of the film have been cancelled, as has a scheduled screening on American public television. Ironically, this examination of censorship is itself being censored.
Making a welcomed appearance in the film is stand-up comedian Jimmy Tingle, who lightens the tone with his hilarious yet insightful sketch that illuminates the double-standards and contradictions of the current controversy.
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