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View Full Version : Rethink over Christ 'porn' film ban



FatimaAsSideqah
04-06-2008, 10:50 PM
As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu and Greetings.

An arthouse movie refused a licence 20 years ago could be released after repeal of blasphemy law.

A landmark decision to ban a film showing Christ being caressed on the cross on the grounds that it was blasphemous could be reversed after almost 20 years.

The 1989 ruling by the British Board of Film Classification to refuse a release licence for Visions of Ecstasy, a low- budget film depicting the 16th-century Spanish mystic St Teresa of Avila caressing the body of Jesus on the cross provoked a national furore.

While the film's director, Nigel Wingrove, believed he was making art, the board, under its heavily censorious director James Ferman, took a different view and said its mix of pornography and religion risked upsetting the Anglican Church. Now, however, in a sign that Britain's social mores have moved on, Craig Lapper, of the board's examining body, has invited Wingrove to resubmit the film for classification.
The invitation comes ahead of the repeal in June of the blasphemy law, which has long been a source of anger for those working in the creative industries who complain it is an archaic piece of legislation that stifles art.

A decision to allow the film's release would bring to an end one of the most controversial chapters in British cinematic history. Coming amid the arguments surrounding Salman Rushdie's provocative novel The Satanic Verses, the board's decision was seen as an attack on freedom of speech by organised religion. The debate raged all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which upheld the decision to ban the love scene, thereby killing the film's release.

Wingrove, now a distributor of horror movies, said the suggestion he should resubmit his most notorious work had come 'completely out of the blue' and that he was in two minds about whether to agree. 'If I made the film now I would make it very differently,' he said. '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.'

Wingrove has had a number of skirmishes with the board, which he believes is now largely 'irrelevant' because the internet has circumvented its ability to censor. Several horror films he tried to distribute in the 1980s were also banned after concerns about the relationship between violent films and young people which were prompted by the killing of the toddler Jamie Bulger.

But Visions of Ecstasy was Wingrove's most famous battle with the board and one he did not see coming. 'I can be incredibly naive,' he said. 'I was gobsmacked by the reaction. I can see why some people might have been offended, but it was pretty mild stuff really.'

Nevertheless, the obscure film became a focal point of political protest as the barrister Geoffrey Robertson took up Wingrove's case and a campaign was launched to secure the film's release. 'A lot of people had their own agenda,' Wingrove said. 'They wanted the law of blasphemy repealed.'

He likened the courtroom battle in Strasbourg to a scene from the Nuremberg trials with 'all those people pontificating on my little 19-minute film; it was absurd'.

Now, however, Wingrove may find himself an unwitting cause célèbre again as secular groups encourage him to seek a release licence as a way of signalling the death knell of the blasphemy law.

'The restraining effect of the blasphemy law on artists and writers has long been a blot on Britain's tradition of free speech,' said Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society. 'It has put into the hands of bigots a weapon to punish those who want to criticise or satirise religion. We hope that the BBFC will now give a certificate to Visions of Ecstasy as a signal to film makers that they need no longer censor themselves when exploring religious themes.'

A board spokeswoman stressed the invitation to Wingrove to resubmit his film for classification was Lapper's personal decision. 'Craig was being helpful,' the spokeswoman said, pointing out that the repeal of the blasphemy law in June probably convinced Lapper that the time was right to review the film's ban.

It would not just be anti-censorship campaigners who would welcome the film's release. 'I was in Soho recently and bumped into the guy who played Jesus,' Wingrove said. 'He said he'd never seen the film and asked if he could have a copy.'

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/stor...271373,00.html

Astaghfirullah!! :skeleton:
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Keltoi
04-07-2008, 05:08 PM
I suppose some people might be upset by it, but personally I don't care either way. It isn't Christ on this film, just an actor. In the scheme of things it means absolutely nothing.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
04-07-2008, 05:16 PM
Why do people spend so much time of stuff like this? Pick something else? lol sheesh. Well personally, why do it in the first place.
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Woodrow
04-07-2008, 05:28 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
I suppose some people might be upset by it, but personally I don't care either way. It isn't Christ on this film, just an actor. In the scheme of things it means absolutely nothing.
While I agree with you, I also believe those of us who are Muslim have an obligation to PEACEFULLY protest this.

This is an insult to us also. But, we must also agree that the defilement of any religion is not acceptable, if we are to be sincerely seen in our protests of what defiles Islam.

We may not be able to stop it from being allowed, but we can make our voices heard that we will not purchase it, view it or promote it and do what we can do to urge others to do the same.

Laws may allow a film to be shown, but loss of profit doing so may discourage people from producing such.
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Amadeus85
04-07-2008, 05:40 PM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
While I agree with you, I also believe those of us who are Muslim have an obligation to PEACEFULLY protest this.

This is an insult to us also. But, we must also agree that the defilement of any religion is not acceptable, if we are to be sincerely seen in our protests of what defiles Islam.

We may not be able to stop it from being allowed, but we can make our voices heard that we will not purchase it, view it or promote it and do what we can do to urge others to do the same.

Laws may allow a film to be shown, but loss of profit doing so may discourage people from producing such.
Unfortunately Western World is nowadays in the hands(media,education,politics) of our own versions of Kemal Ataturk.
BTW Woodrow you graduated to the next level i see. You are red now :)
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FatimaAsSideqah
04-07-2008, 05:43 PM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
While I agree with you, I also believe those of us who are Muslim have an obligation to PEACEFULLY protest this.

This is an insult to us also. But, we must also agree that the defilement of any religion is not acceptable, if we are to be sincerely seen in our protests of what defiles Islam.

We may not be able to stop it from being allowed, but we can make our voices heard that we will not purchase it, view it or promote it and do what we can do to urge others to do the same.

Laws may allow a film to be shown, but loss of profit doing so may discourage people from producing such.
As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

I've agreed with what you have said, Brother Woodrow. This is insult to us as similarly as cartoons on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
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Eric H
04-07-2008, 07:06 PM
Greetings and peace be with you brother Woodrow,

I find the idea of this film insulting too, but fear there is nothing we can do. If this film should be released then it will become a cult movie simply because it has been banned for so long, there are enough people in the secular world to make it a hit movie.

In the spirit of searching for God,

Eric
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FatimaAsSideqah
04-07-2008, 07:43 PM
As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu


The museum exhibits Hrdlicka's homoerotic version of Christ's Last Supper. (Photo through Google)

VIENNA — A church museum exhibition showing "erotic" drawings of Jesus Christ drew fire from Catholics worldwide in what has been described as Vienna's version of the cartoon crisis of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).

"People can imagine what they want to," Bernhard Boehler, the director of the Museum of Vienna's Roman Catholic Cathedral, told Reuters on Monday, April 7, in his small office, across the street from St. Stephan's Cathedral.

The museum, nestled down a narrow street in Vienna's historic Gothic quarter, is hosting an exhibition honoring Austria's cherished artist Alfred Hrdlicka, who turned 80 earlier this year.

The main picture, a homoerotic version of Christ's Last Supper, shows cavorting Apostles sprawling over the dining table and masturbating each other.

Hrdlicka, a communist and atheist, says he represented the men in this way because there are no women in the original portrayal by Leonardo da Vinci, restored by controversial Italian filmmaker and writer Paolo Pasolini' who was murdered in the 1970s.

"There was such a reaction to its physicality. For me it was quite surprising the museum wanted to show the piece in the first place," he told Reuters by telephone.

The museum's director defended both Hrdlicka's work and his decision to host is controversial versions of biblical imagery in a museum tied to the Catholic Church.

"We think Hrdlicka is entitled to represent people in this carnal, drastic way,"
said Boehler.

"I don't see any blasphemy here," he argued, gesturing at a crucifixion picture showing a soldier simultaneously beating Jesus and holding his genitals.

Blasphemy

The museum curators received a barrage of angry messages and calls to be shut down.

Boehler and Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, have both come under fire from some museum visitors and Catholic websites.

The "Religion, Flesh and Power" exhibition has attracted fierce criticism on religion blogs in Austria and Germany as blasphemous.

"The exhibition should never have taken place," a Catholic wrote in an article on conservative website kreuz.net.

"The director should apologize to Catholics worldwide for this."

The criticism even crossed the Atlantic into the United States.

"I wouldn't have guessed that, given his reputation, a man like Schoenborn would have stood for this abomination for half a second," conservative columnist Rod Dreher wrote on his widely read religion blog.

The museum had taken down the Last Supper piece at Schoenborn's request, leaving a blank black wall at the entrance to the display.

"This has nothing to do with censorship, rather corresponds with the understood reverence for the sacred," the Cardinal's spokesman said in a statement.

"It is also an act of respect towards those believers who feel this portrayal offended and provoked them in their deepest religious sensitivity."

Boehler, like Hrdlicka, compared the debate to the Danish cartoon row triggered in 2005 when Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of a man described as Prophet Muhammad, one showing him with a ticking bomb in his turban.

The drawings sparked uproar in the Muslim world and strained ties between Muslim world and the West.

"People have said the Catholic Church has become a lot more liberal," said Museum Curator Martina Judt.

"But in the end, the reactions show this perhaps isn't the case."

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/S...News/NWELayout
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AvarAllahNoor
04-07-2008, 09:37 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
I suppose some people might be upset by it, but personally I don't care either way. It isn't Christ on this film, just an actor. In the scheme of things it means absolutely nothing.
Well he is portraying Jesus, so it should not be allowed! Same reason why Sikhs wont allow films to be made of the Sikh Gurus. NOBODY could portray them, nobody is worthy. It should be stopped. :raging:
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aadil77
04-07-2008, 09:56 PM
They define it as 'Art'!, seriously what the hell is the world coming to

This movie would offensive to muslims aswell as christians, whether its Jesus or any other prophet portrayed

Why are people so obssessed with all this 'erotic' crap, they need to take a bloody cold shower, horny twats
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aamirsaab
04-07-2008, 09:59 PM
:sl:
I think it's stupid how the Prophet Isa's image has been tarnished. There's a friggin action figure of him. A mockery of one of the most awesome human beings that ever walked this earth. An actual role model!

I hope they don't release this movie...but then someone would cry: freedom of speech.
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Keltoi
04-08-2008, 03:26 AM
Originally Posted by AvarAllahNoor
Well he is portraying Jesus, so it should not be allowed! Same reason why Sikhs wont allow films to be made of the Sikh Gurus. NOBODY could portray them, nobody is worthy. It should be stopped. :raging:
I suppose I'm just not as threatened by the notion of somebody pretending to be Christ, for whatever purpose. I have no problem with protesting it in a peaceful and constructive way, but I'm not about to get angry or insulted over something as stupid as this. I actually feel more embarrassed and sorry for those who do this kind of stuff.
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shahidiceprince
04-08-2008, 02:24 PM
I suppose freedom of speech means freedom to everything!!! Even defaming one of the greatest person for the sake of tickling the ribs of some perverted viewers!!! What a BULL****!!!
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Keltoi
04-08-2008, 02:33 PM
Originally Posted by shahidiceprince
I suppose freedom of speech means freedom to everything!!! Even defaming one of the greatest person for the sake of tickling the ribs of some perverted viewers!!! What a BULL****!!!
Actually that is what freedom of speech means. The ability to defame, insult, criticize, etc, any religious or political figure. Nobody suggested freedom of speech is always enjoyable or even constructive...but it is an important element to a free society. In the reverse, you are free to say whatever you wish about those who insult you or something or someone you hold in high esteem.
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glo
04-09-2008, 06:19 AM
I agree with Keltoi.
I am deeply saddened that anybody should wish to make such a film about Jesus!
However, we have free will (given by God) to make out own choices and express them. That includes making offensive films, I'm afraid.

Perhaps Christians tend to have a slightly more relaxed view on such things, because we believe that Jesus suffered every indignity, ridicule and embarrassment when he went to the cross.
He also taught us that following him would mean that we may suffer the same.
Consequently, if Jesus could bear it peacefully and with patience and love, then we should try to do the same.

That's not to say we cannot protest peacefully, or make out views heard - but not to respond with hatred and anger.

On another note, who is to say that watching this film could not motivate a non-believer to find out more about Jesus, and as a result become a believer himself?
The Lord moves in mysterious ways. :)
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Malaikah
04-09-2008, 08:23 AM
That's just pathetic. There are some serious disturbed people out there.
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Pygoscelis
04-09-2008, 01:35 PM
There has been a "nuns" niche in the porn industry for years. Women dressed like nuns having explicit sex. Isn't that more "blasphemous"? Why was that allowed and this not?
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KAding
04-09-2008, 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
There has been a "nuns" niche in the porn industry for years. Women dressed like nuns having explicit sex. Isn't that more "blasphemous"? Why was that allowed and this not?
Nuns are not holy.

In a respectful and perfect world atheist artists wouldn't let Jesus have sex and believers wouldn't be condemning us all to eternal hellfire. Alas, we don't live in such a world!
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Muezzin
04-09-2008, 02:36 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
Nuns are not holy.

In a respectful and perfect world atheist artists wouldn't let Jesus have sex and believers wouldn't be condemning us all to eternal hellfire. Alas, we don't live in such a world!
I think you mean God, who decides who goes where, whether they're believers or not.

But yeah, the world is full of buttheads. Just don't be one of 'em!
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AvarAllahNoor
04-09-2008, 04:31 PM
A stand needs to be made from time to time. I'd say the Christians should make it now. They did at the Jerry Springer Show. Was it banned eventually? I forget.
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Izyan
04-09-2008, 04:34 PM
Originally Posted by AvarAllahNoor
A stand needs to be made from time to time. I'd say the Christians should make it now. They did at the Jerry Springer Show. Was it banned eventually? I forget.
Nope Jerry is still going strong.
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AvarAllahNoor
04-09-2008, 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by Izyan
Nope Jerry is still going strong.
Im talking about the controversial Jesus Musical, not Jerry the chap! :D
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barney
04-09-2008, 04:42 PM
It sounds as if its going to be naff.
I'd much rather watch real pr0n.

The only religious film thats ever had m,uch of an effect on me, with its graphicness is "Passion of Christ" where he got whipped to bits.
It diddnt make me think so much about him suffering for me, but it did make me think that the poor guy had really gone through the mill.
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Suomipoika
04-10-2008, 11:52 PM
Originally Posted by aamirsaab
I hope they don't release this movie...but then someone would cry: freedom of speech.
Id be the first one to do that. Very proudly and loudly.

If sensitivities of certain groups of people is accepted as a reason to curtail freedom of speech, then surely sensitivities of other groups of people should be accepted as a reason to curtail freedom of religion. Id imagine certain sexual minorities are quite offended with the idea of them having to be trialed and punished in a "perfect" society.

Unless everyones feelings, sensitivities, and what they hold important are taken into consideration regardless of ones gender, race, sexual orientation, religion etc. without favoring one group over another, I dont really see any basis for banning this film or anything other that criticises or even simply just tries to insult religions or religious people or religious feelings.
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KAding
04-11-2008, 12:48 AM
Originally Posted by Suomipoika
Id be the first one to do that. Very proudly and loudly.

If sensitivities of certain groups of people is accepted as a reason to curtail freedom of speech, then surely sensitivities of other groups of people should be accepted as a reason to curtail freedom of religion. Id imagine certain sexual minorities are quite offended with the idea of them having to be trialed and punished in a "perfect" society.
Indeed, well said. Muslims should be very careful about pushing for censorship in countries in which they do not form the majority. It's a slippery slope on which they will lose their balance quickly. They simply lack the public support to push through the censorship they want, while at the same time empowering those who disagree with their religious doctrine.
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Pygoscelis
04-11-2008, 02:01 AM
Very good point. You call for a ban on blasphemy against mohammed, and you wind up with a headscarf ban.
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barney
04-11-2008, 02:03 AM
Y'know Blasphemy was only changed as regards the UK law last month or so.
before that, you could be jailed for it.

Of course that would mean jailing the whole blinking country!
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Muezzin
04-11-2008, 08:08 AM
Originally Posted by KAding
Indeed, well said. Muslims should be very careful about pushing for censorship in countries in which they do not form the majority. It's a slippery slope on which they will lose their balance quickly. They simply lack the public support to push through the censorship they want, while at the same time empowering those who disagree with their religious doctrine.
And this has what to do with the British Board of Film Classification rethinking a Christ 'porn' film ban?

Peeps, there are plenty of other threads facilitating Muslim-bashing/criticism.
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aamirsaab
04-11-2008, 10:30 AM
:sl: and Hello
Originally Posted by Suomipoika
Id be the first one to do that. Very proudly and loudly.
I thought you might! :D

Ok here's my reasoning for my comments. I personally believe that freedom of speech should be used to speak out against injustice - not to create/aid injustice (which constitutes as lies, hatred etc). Also, true freedom of speech doesn't exist (e.g. gagging orders on employees of say coca cola, so they don't blab out the secret recipie; also, slander/liable claims preventing verbal harrasment). What we do have is the ability to say what we feel about a number of things but not everything - in other words we have a limited form of freedom of speech (it does have limits).

If you have true freedom of speech, you'd end up with an unproductive and very angry society. I'll give you an example: I know of people who complain about other people. All they do is complain and backbite. Now, under freedom of speech that'd be allowed. When you're sitting down and listening (not participating) in on this stuff, it is not a nice place to be in. It's dishonourable and completely unproductive to anything (since it is not constructive criticism - it is destructive!). But, some would say : who gives a rat's ass, it's my freedom isn't it! -------> It is not easy to communicate with people who have that attitude and mind set; those guys/gals do not get far in life. Basically, there are things that you should say and there are things that you shouldn't. Having true freedom of speech means you can say whatever the hell you feel like, whenever you feel like.


Still, what does it matter now? Society is concentrating so heavily on the inidividual aspect that it cares very little for the wider community aspects. Oh well, I can live with it.
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Suomipoika
04-11-2008, 11:56 AM
Originally Posted by aamirsaab
I thought you might! :D
:D

I dont see anyway fairly limit hateful and unproductive speech, the scale what people find negative varies so widely from person to person. Who will be the judge of what will be banned? I also think there is one important positive aspect in allowing negative speech, it acts as safeguard againts slippery slope where someone thinks speaking against injustice is hateful and unproductive.

The difference between wanting to ban hateful speech and libel/slander laws is that the latter can be easily and uniformly applied to everyone. I dont think voluntarily accepting gagging order when accepting a job as limiting freedom of speech, like I dont see Hijab ban at work place limiting freedom of religion. The solution again is really simple, find another job.

But you are right, we have some limits on freedom of speech, most of which I oppose. I guess I believe apart from libel/slander laws and incitement to violence, everything should be allowed to be said.

Personally Im not overly concerned about any "unproductiveness" freedom of speech might cause, simply because countries and societies with more freedoms seem to be on top of the list by any productivity standard.
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