The Null Device

Mysterious Skin to be banned in Australia

The Howard government's fondness for censorship and kneejerk moralism strikes again: now they're pushing to have the film Mysterious Skin banned. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock ordered a review of the film's classification because the puritanical wowsers from the Australian Family Association and evangelical Christian groups read a summary of the film and decided that it could titiliate paedophiles or help them seduce children. Which, as anyone who has seen the film will tell you, is absurd. But it plays well with the Hillsong/Family First constituency who have the government's ear, so the rest of Australia have to make do with the cultural products our appointed spiritual leaders decide are appropriate.

(The film showed here in the UK some months ago, and there was no outcry whatsoever; to people here, it was just another small indie film. But for some reason, Australians cannot be trusted with the same amount of leeway they have elsewhere.)

Anyway, if you live in Australia and are displeased with small-minded petty theocrats from one-book households deciding what you can and cannot legally see, write a letter to a newspaper. It's important that someone lets the censors of Canberra know that they are answerable to people other than religious prudes. (Perhaps it's time someone printed stickers that said "I Watch Controversial Arthouse Films And I Vote"?)

There are 4 comments on "Mysterious Skin to be banned in Australia":

Posted by: Graham Tue Aug 2 12:34:21 2005

A little update, the film's kept its R classification.

I wonder if that AFA asshat will try it on again...

Posted by: acb Tue Aug 2 13:43:00 2005

Or if the government will review the composition of the OFLC board, on the grounds that it's too liberal/does not represent "community values" (in the way that the Festival Of Light does).

Posted by: Graham Wed Aug 3 08:55:07 2005

Well, it's probably one of the few public boards that's become more liberal during the "Liberal" Party's reign. Plus it was pretty clear the plaintiff didn't know what the hell he was talking about.

Posted by: acb Wed Aug 3 08:56:31 2005

How are OFLC appointments handled? How hard would it be for Ruddock to stack the board with Hillsong/Assembly of God types?

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