The true test of faith is if you are not scared to put it to test.
So I don’t see the point of banning these films because of they, according to these people, present beliefs or ideas that are too radical that it can ignite revolution or social unrest.
Please… precautions on those things started the minute a child is born.
So, here they are. The movies that rocked the boat.
10. The Da Vinci Code
Banned In: Vatican City
Well, more boycotted than banned, really. God-botherers were well and truly bothered by Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestselling toilet-read.
A Vatican department formerly known as ‘The Holy Office’ declared the movie is “full of calumnies, offences and historical and theological errors.”
No one was quite sure what a “calumny” was, but The Da Vinci Code didn’t unspool in Holy Town.
The Pope brigade also banned Angels & Demons from shooting in Rome’s churches, but Howard shot there anyway. He’s currently keeping an eye out for random lightning bolts.
“Those who blaspheme Christ and get away with it are exploiting the Christian readiness to forgive,” says Cardinal Francis Arinze.
Which doesn’t sound very forgiving.
Over time, the filmmakers received over 300,000 pieces of hate mail, which Smith posted on his website. Among these were “two-and-three-quarters” death threats. Smith explained this in his movie An Evening with Kevin Smith: One of the letters was threatening to start with, then became more friendly further on. The Catholic League in particular attacked Disney and Miramax, the original distributors, for being anti-Catholic. The film was originally scheduled to come out in November 1998, but was pushed back to November 1999 in the hopes the controversy would die down. When that didn’t work, Disney sold the film’s distribution rights to Lions Gate Entertainment.
When the film actually came out, Kevin Smith and his friend Bryan Johnson participated in a protest at the Sony Multiplex in Eatontown, New Jersey, carrying a sign which read “Dogma is Dogshit.” A news crew captured the incident and broadcast an interview with Smith (though he wouldn’t give his real name and gave Johnson’s as his own) on News 12 New Jersey.
8. The Passion Of Christ
They probably realized the guy playing Jesus Christ would go whack.
There are still a lot of countries that refuse to show the film for its violent depiction of Christ’s suffering.
I think they want people to think Jesus didn’t really suffer.
7. The Devils
Banned in Finland (1985, 1971), Ireland and Italy
Based on The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley, the film is a dramatised historical account of the rise and fall of Urbain Grandier, a 17th century French priest executed for witchcraft following the supposed possessions of Loudun.
Father Grandier’s sexual appeal makes the clergy jealous and the nuns outraged, accusing him of sorcery and evil spells, not content until he is burned at the stake.
Ken Russell’s film was banned from Italy and its stars Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed were threatened with three years’ jail time if they set foot in the country.
6. Visions of Ecstasy
Banned in the UK
This 18 minute film includes scenes featuring a sexualised representation of Saint Teresa of Ávila caressing the body of Jesus on the cross. As a result of this the film was rejected for a UK certificate by the BBFC on the grounds of possible blasphemous libel.
The distributor took the case to the European Court of Human Rights in 1996 to consider whether the existence of a law of blasphemy was consistent with Freedom of Expression rights. Although blasphemy laws in the UK were only repealed in 2008, the film is still not classified and so it remains the only film banned in the UK on the grounds of blasphemy.
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