Chicago Film Festival 2018: [Censored]


[Censored] is a documentary that exposes just a small amount of clips from films that that Australian Film Censorship Board censored during 1958-1971.

Australian filmmaker Sari Braithwaite digs deep into the archives of some 2,000 clips from films censored.  Inspired to do so following a short film about censorship battles, she becomes one of few people to see what’s inside.  As a filmmaker, Braithwaite admits that some of the clips she found are “vile.”  Furthermore, these clips featuring sex, misogyny, and violence are also without context.  Some of these clips come from well-known directors, too!

I do have some thoughts upon viewing this documentary.  Government censors for film in Australia are seemingly strict.  That being said, some of these scenes can get very sexual.  It would not be unfair of me to say that such scenes would up an film from an R to an NC-17 rating here in the US.

Many of the clips certainly show how heavy the male gaze was during this time period.  There are clips that sexualize the depiction of women.  Could this be seen as timely in the Times Up/Me, Too era?  I don’t know.  There are many scenes, according to the director, that feature a rape.  I approve of these scenes being cut in particular.  Think about it.  Think about the message it sends to women who may be watching the film.  How should one react?  To be honest, just hearing about it makes me sick.

Experimental in nature, [Censored] only shows us a glimpse of what Australian residents were unable to see on the big screen.


[Censored] screens during the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival in the International Documentary Competition program.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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