Still unreleased in America after three years,
is uncut and coming to a
screen near you. Is this the end of British
CENSOI’Ship? Words: Peter Ross
A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL sits playl‘ully‘ wriggling in the lap of the gaunt middle-aged man. He l‘urtiy'ely tises her moyements to hring himself to orgasm.
This isn‘t kiddy porn. it's Adrian Lyne‘s eontroy‘ersial adaptation of .\'ahoko\"s paedophile piearesque [ﬁll/(l. The film has heen passed uneut for release. meaning you walk into any cinema in liheral. thrasting (‘ool Brittania ettrrently in the grip ol a ehild molester w'iteh-hunt .stul‘l‘ your l'aee with popeorn and wateh lltttnhert lltnnhert gel the gal.
The British Board ol. Film (‘lassil'tealion (BBH'). the hody responsihle for granting or rel'using eet'tit'ieates to l'ihtts and Videos in the l‘nited Kingdom. reeently' hit the headlines by allowing a einema release to l.o/ilu whieh they deserihed as 'a ehallenging and eompassionate treatment of an estahlished literary Classic“. The BBH' also gay'e \‘ideo releases to Lynne Stopkewiexk neerophiliae romanee Kissed and l)a\'id ('ronenherg's auto- erotie ('I‘uslt.
But hehind the tahloid outrage. pundits were Punled. BBH‘ President. Andreas Whittam Smith. was appointed hy .laek Straw in January. at moy'e widely regarded as eonsistent with the Home Seeretary's '.\'ew*
6 THELIST '-'. 'oog
ttatn Smith elaims to and. at the time of his anaged to ayoid seeing e he was endorsing some 'slitl lilms ot' reeent times. )sl dil‘l‘ieult decisions l‘\ e in my Iil'e.~ he admits. lotlltder and editor ol‘ '/'/I(’ ‘ision I had to make was as
l’uritan‘ dislike \‘io appoinlmet I’ll/p [it'll-(ll oi the most "l'hese ; eyer had 'Beliey‘e ll lll(/(’/)(’Il(/( difficult a So do death o hreathle l-ailed to these lhl i‘el'ttsed a
trial a new liheralism'.’ 'l'he eensorsltip'.’ “hat the s on the BBI"(”s deeision ote was that. at the same time as ‘ l-ilms were passed. others were ideo release. ‘ slash pie .lluniut' has heen hanned heeause e ‘pleasures on offer here seem to the Boa to he unhealthy and dangei'otts‘. while I” 'k whieh deals with a gay serial killer a l is adapted from a noy‘el hy' eult tltllhor ‘ltnis (‘ooper is eritieised lor heing tely without moral standpoint'. eas \Vhittam Smith elahorates on his l‘or harming Frisk. "I‘here was no sign mutilation was anything other than Ie lwliay'iotti'.' he says. "l‘his t‘ilm people‘s deyiant and anti-soeial It says. “It's okay to get my sexual
yal ida impu
'This film validates people's deviant and anti- social impulses. It says,
"It's okay to get my sexual pleasure by cutting up poor prostitutes I found in
the street . Andreas Whittam Smith on Frisk
pleasure hy eutting up poor prostitutes l lound in the street"..
Does this mean that lilms need lo take a moral line in order to he passed by the BBH'I’ ('an it really he that good must he seen to triumph oyer eyil in order to ayoid a han'.’ Whittam Smith is equiyoeal.
"l‘hey don't haye to haye a moral standpoint. hut we know people take a film as a whole.‘ he explains. ‘ll‘ there‘s no sort ol ot‘t'setting message which suggests there are two sides to this issue. then we are going to get more strietf
.lulian l’etley. an aeademie espert on