Rome – The Italian government ended the system of censorship that had been in place in cinematic films since 1914 and had long been covered by many masterpieces of the big screen, such as “The Last Tango in Paris.”
From now on, after this decision, it will not be possible to prevent the film from being shown in cinemas, or it would have to be cut or modified on the basis of moral or religious grounds.
Welcome to the step
In most countries of the world, the cinematographic censorship apparatus is no longer a banning or approval body, but a committee for classifying films according to the age of the viewers, and so on. Italy is working towards this, as it will set up a committee for the classification of cinematographic works in the Directorate-General for Cinema at the Ministry of Culture instead of a control apparatus.
This committee determines the age groups for which each film is suitable, namely 49 members, including experts from the film industry, the protection of minors and representatives of parents’ associations and animal protection groups.
Film censorship did not take place because of violence, but a system that allowed the state to interfere with the freedom of creativity of artists
Italian Culture Minister Dario Francicini welcomed the “abolition of censorship in cinema” and said in a statement: “We are permanently abandoning the censorship system that has allowed the country to encroach on the freedom of creativity of artists.”
Italian cinema expert Elena Boero said in a statement that the abolition of censorship was “an important and historic step for Italian cinema”. I’m late. “
Regarding director Bob Avati, whose film “Bordella” spoke of setting up a brothel for women in Milan under the censorship of a global American company in 1975, he said: “Decision-making is a form of relying on a sense of responsibility. We have matured.”
Censorship has affected a large number of films in more than a century of collaboration with them, and at the forefront of these tapes are all the films of writer, poet and director Pierre Paolo Pasolini or even the film “The Last Tango in Paris”. “by Italian director Bernard Bertolucci with American actor Marlon Brando and French Maria Schneider. Copies of it have been destroyed, except for three copies that are preserved in the National Cinematheque.
Another well-known example of censorship is Lucino Visconti’s masterpiece “Rocco ae Sway Fratelli” (Rocco & Brothers) in 1960 with Frenchmen Alain Delon and Annie Girardeau.
According to the census conducted by Chenchen Sura, a virtual online exhibition promoted by the Ministry of Culture, 274 Italian, 130 American and 321 films from other countries have been banned since 1944.
After deleting or changing scenes, more than ten thousand films were allowed to be shown in cinemas.
But the paradox is that this censorship “also made the films more attractive, as it aroused the curiosity of the audience, especially in the erotic field,” says Bobby Avati, who noted that “the censorship of the films was not due to their violence.”
The motives of censorship have evolved over more than a century of its existence, as it has changed from a tool for political, moral, and religious control of films to a kind of opportunism to avoid censorship in order to obtain state subsidies.
The success of Italian cinema
The last notable example of censorship in Italy dates back to 1998 and relates to Daniele Chipry and Franco Maresquist’s film “Tutu Ky Fisse Doi Volte” (Toto, who lived twice), which was due to violent attacks by Catholic circles the fact that his characters considered blasphemous.
Censorship has changed from a tool for political, moral and religious control of films to a kind of opportunism
We note that cinema censorship is not just about Italy, but even Hollywood has witnessed the founding of the “Association of Film Producers and Distributors in America” and the appointment of Will Hays as its president, a person known to be a very conservative Republican and member of the Protestant Church, which compiled a list of more than 115 stars banned from working in Union companies ’films based on their behavior and scandals in their private lives to restore a better image of the Hollywood star, in addition to reviewing screenplays presented by production houses in order to obtain its approval before starting work.
The oversight set by the committee was called “Hays Laws,” which promote traditional values and control everything related to gender, religion, drugs, politics, international relations, racism, the American family, the idea of good and evil, and others. .
These laws came to an end in the 1960s, while Italy liberated its seventh art relatively late from the scissors of censorship and moral stewardship, although censorship has declined sharply in recent decades, but is still effective in restricting many works. religious or moral arguments and deny them support.
The restriction later occurred in several films, albeit indirectly, as religious institutions intervened in calls on censors to tighten the screws on some films they felt were contrary to conservative Christian principles and teachings, especially films that boldly deal with sexual issues.
Despite the delay in approving the abolition of censorship, the latter did not affect the birth of the world Italian cinema movement, which presented immortal works of the seventh art, such as Pasolini’s “Mama Roma” and Federico Fellini’s “Roma Fellini”, and influential currents such as the new realism appeared after World War II and its tragedies.
Italian cinema, even in later times, did not stop giving directors such as Matteo Garoni, Ermano Olmy, Gianni Emilio and others whose films won world crowns and the wide fame that separated them from other cinematic works.