Archive for the ‘Blasphemy’ Category

Read more EU Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from maltatoday.com.mt

EU flagOn 13 June, MEPs voted in favour of 2 resolutions to set the EU Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief, which explicitly mention the need to protect the rights of both believers and non-believers and oppose any attempt to criminalise freedom of expression on religious grounds.

The first resolution ( 2011/2081(INI) ), focusing on press freedom: Recognizes that governments have the primary responsibility for guaranteeing and protecting freedom of the press and media. The resolution also points out that governments also have the primary responsibility for hampering freedom of the press and media and, in the worst cases, are increasingly resorting to legal pressures in order to restrict that freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation and laws on national security, treason or subversion. The EP endorses a balance between the concerns of national security and press freedom. The resolution goes further to deplore the fact that journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity, and stresses the importance of combating impunity.

The second resolution ( 2013/2082(INI) ), centering on religious freedom, endorses the firm opposition of any attempt to criminalise freedom of speech in relation to religious issues, such as blasphemy laws. The EP predictably condemns all forms of violence and discrimination, but goes further to emphasize that particular attention should be paid to the situation of those who change their religion or belief, as in practice they are subject in a number of countries to social pressure, intimidation or outright violence.

Read more Latest UK Cuts at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See more at Melon Farmers cuts details: Visions of Ecstasy

Visions of Ecstasy DVDVisions of Ecstasy is a 1989 UK erotic short by Nigel Wingrove. With Louise Downie, Elisha Scott and Dan Fox. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for nudity and sex involving religious images for:

  • UK 2012 4Digital/Redemption R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today, 2nd April 2012

Previously Banned

Previously banned by the BBFC for:

  • UK 1989 Axel VHS

The BBFC decision was subsequently appealed to the Video Appeals Committee who upheld the ban. The decision was later confirmed by the European Court.

DVD Features

Included with this historic film is a 40 page, booklet written by the films director, Nigel Wingrove, in which he explains how the film came to be made, the effect its banning had on his life and future work, and how his continuing battles against film censorship led eventually to the resignation of the BBFC’s then director, James Ferman, the legalisation of pornography and a general relaxations of film classification overall.

Also included on this DVD are the director s first erotic short film, Axel (1986) and his nunsploitation feature, Sacred Flesh (2000), in which a Mother Superior struggles with her sexual desires in a series of imagined dialogues with Mary Magdalene will her mind torments her with images of sexual perversion, lesbianism and sadomasochism. Sacred Flesh was cut by 25s by the BBFC when it was submitted in 2000.

Additional extras include extensive stills, press gallery and interviews.

Read more Latest UK Cuts at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See Detailed Cuts: Blasphemy at the BBFC

Visions of Ecstasy DVDThankfully religion doesn’t feature very often in British film censorship decisions. However the few instances that have been spotted to date have been gathered together onto this page.

Cuts and bans for blasphemy have been recorded for the following films:

  • Belladonna: My Ass is Haunted. 2004 US adult video by Belladonna.
  • The Big Bang. 1987 France/Belgium animated comedy Sci-Fi by Picha
  • Catacombs. 1988 Italy/US horror by David Schmoeller.
  • The Devils. 1971 UK drama by Ken Russell
  • The Last Temptation of Christ. 1988 US/Canada drama by Martin Scorsese.
  • Multiple Maniacs. 1970 US comedy crime film by John Waters.
  • Visions of Ecstasy. 1989 UK erotic short by Nigel Wingrove.

See Detailed Cuts: Blasphemy at the BBFC

Read more Latest UK Cuts at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Thanks to Jon
See more at Melon Farmers cuts details: Visions of Ecstasy

Visions of Ecstasy DVDVisions of Ecstasy is a 1989 UK erotic short by Nigel Wingrove. With Louise Downie, Elisha Scott and Dan Fox. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for nudity and sex involving religious images for:

  • UK 2012 4Digital/Redemption R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release 26th March 2012

Previously Banned

Previously banned by the BBFC for:

  • UK 1989 Axel VHS

The BBFC decision was subsequently appealed to the Video Appeals Committee who upheld the ban.

DVD Features

Included with this historic film is a 40 page, booklet written by the films director, Nigel Wingrove, in which he explains how the film came to be made, the effect its banning had on his life and future work, and how his continuing battles against film censorship led eventually to the resignation of the BBFC’s then director, JamesFerman, the legalisation of pornography and a general relaxations of film classification overall.

Also included on this DVD are the director s first erotic short film, Axel (1986) and his nunsploitation feature, Sacred Flesh (2000), in which a Mother Superior struggles with her sexual desires in a series of imagined dialogues with Mary Magdalene will her mind torments her with images of sexual perversion, lesbianism and sadomasochism. Sacred Flesh was cut by 25s by the BBFC when it was submitted in 2000.

Additional extras include extensive stills, press gallery and interviews.

Read more BBFC News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from radiotimes.com

radio times logoFollowing Salo, Ai No Corrida and Cannibal Holocaust, the BBFC has recently granted another notorious banned film, Visions of Ecstasy, an 18 certificate.

The film was outlawed for 23 years in this country for fear of its release breaking UK blasphemy laws, but following the repeal of those laws and the film’s subsequent resubmission to the Board, it will finally be issued legally and fully uncut in the UK later this year.

One of the most puzzling things about censorship from the public’s point of view is the apparently arbitrary way in which films are cut, banned and un-banned in Britain. For instance, the video nasties of the early 1980s were once the subject of media hysteria and bans, but today almost all of them can be bought entirely legally in your local DVD emporium. What’s changed? Why are they no longer a threat to society?

[…er because 25 years is an awfully long time…]

…Read the full article

Read more BBFC News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

visions of ecstasyVisions of Ecstasy is a 1989 UK erotic short by Nigel Wingrove. With Louise Downie, Elisha Scott and Dan Fox. See IMDb

It was originally banned by the BBFC for a 1989 Axel VHS. It was the only film banned in the UK solely on grounds of blasphemy.

The BBFC decision was subsequently appealed to the Video Appeals Committee, who upheld the ban. Then director Nigel Wingrove then took his case to the European Court of Human Rights, but again lost his case.

In 2008, section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. And now the film has been passed 18 uncut for a 2012 4Digital home video release.

But don’t expect too much. Director Nigel Wingrove was a bit defensive when talking to the BBFC:

If I made the film now I would make it very differently, I was exploring areas of dark eroticism, but I had worked chiefly in prints, not films.

People say I should put it out, but on a personal level I have reservations. If I did release it, I would need to put it into context and perhaps release a documentary to accompany it.

The BBFC have explained their decision to unban the film in a press release:

Visions of Ecstasy is a 19 minute short film, featuring a sequence in which a figure representing St Teresa of Avila interacts sexually with a figure representing the crucified Christ. When the film was originally submitted to the BBFC in 1989, for video classification only, the Board refused to issue a classification certificate. This decision was taken on the grounds that the publication of the film, which the issue of a BBFC certificate would permit, might constitute an offence under the common law test of blasphemous libel.

The Board is required, as part of the terms of its designation under the Video Recordings Act 1984, to seek to avoid classifying any work that might infringe the criminal law. Therefore, the Board had no alternative at the time but to refuse a classification. The Board’s decision to refuse a classification to the film was subsequently upheld by the independent Video Appeals Committee.

In 2008, section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. This means that the BBFC is no longer entitled to consider whether the publication of the film might comprise a blasphemous libel.

The BBFC has carefully considered Visions of Ecstasy in terms of its current classification Guidelines. These reflect both the requirements of UK law and the wishes of the UK public, as expressed through regular large scale consultation exercises. With the abolition of the offence of blasphemy, the Board does not consider that the film is in breach of any other UK law that is currently in force. Nor does the Board regard the film as likely to cause harm to viewers in the terms envisioned by the Video Recordings Act.

The Board recognises that the content of the film may be deeply offensive to some viewers. However, the Board’s Guidelines reflect the clear view of the public that adults should have the right to choose their own viewing, provided that the material in question is neither illegal nor harmful. In the absence of any breach of UK law and the lack of any credible risk of harm, as opposed to mere offensiveness, the Board has no sustainable grounds on which to refuse a classification to Visions of Ecstasy in 2012. Therefore the film has been classified for video release at 18 without cuts.

Read more EU Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from thescotsman.scotsman.com

Satanica BehemothA judge in Poland has ruled a death metal singer who tore up a Bible during a show was entitled to do so as an artist acting in a way consistent with the genre. Adam Darski, who goes by the stage name Nergal and is the frontman for the death metal band Behemoth, was charged with offending religion after he ripped up the Bible during a 2007 concert in the Polish town of Gdynia.

He was found innocent by a court last year but prosecutors appealed, and again the court cleared him.

Concert video footage shows Darski throwing the torn pages to the audience and asking fans to burn them. According to Polish news agency PAP, he also called the Bible a deceitful book and the church a criminal sect.

In his ruling Judge Krzysztof Wieckowski said he considered Darski’s actions a form of art consistent with the style of his band. He added that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticise religion.

The musician said on his band’s website: I’m so glad to see that intelligence won over religious fanatics in my home country.