Re: Dealing with disturbing content

Jessica Rosner (
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 08:35:56 -0800 (PST)

Needless to say it is a slippery slope from removing Requiem for a Dream
to removing Triumph of the Will or American Beauty
But here are my favorite "censorship" experiences from my FILM rentals . A
Jewish High School called to rent The Tin Drum for SIXTH GRADERS. I told
them I thought the film was utterly inappropriate for this age, but they
INSISTED. After the screening they called asking for a REFUND ( I did not
give it) I had a VERY , VERY fundamentalist Christian group rent
the Cecil B De Mille 10 COMMANDMENTS. They called to say they had to cancel
the screening because " the costumes were too revealing". Feeling bad I
offered a free Shirley Temple movie , figuring they would not object to it
but alas they said they could only see films with Christian content ( they
watched no TV). I sent them the 1962 King of Kings for a later showing and
then called to see how it went. Luckily it went over well EXCEPT for
Salome's dance but they just turned off the bulb for that part

Last but not least , I had rented the Norwegian film ZERO KELVIN to the
Hirschorn Museum a few years ago. It is a terrific film but has VERY
disturbing animal violence. The programmer noticed two families with
children in the audience and went over to tell them that the film was very
inappropriate for young children because of the animal violence. They blew
her off , one saying that their dog had just died so this was no problem
Well the film takes place 90% at an Arctic outpost but it starts in
Oslo where there is a brief scene in which a couple lie on a bed and the
woman takes off her shirt and breast is visible for five seconds. BOTH
families promptly walked out at this scene. We still joke about how we
forgot about the boobs to scare them off from the film

Good Luck with your director

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

> From: "Julie Stump" <> > Reply-To: > Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 08:08:17 -0800 (PST) > To: Multiple recipients of list <> > Subject: Re: Dealing with disturbing content > > Yes. We had a complaint about Requiem for a dream. A man watched it with > his 14-year old daughter and they were both shocked. My Director is still > not sure she shouldn't remove the video from the collection. We use ratings > stickers on the videos and my Director claimed that because we use the > stickers we don't support the ALA Freedom the View and would be within our > rights to remove the film from the collection. It's a very upsetting > situation. There's just no way to discuss censorship calmly and rationally, > at least in my library. > Julie Stump > Voorheesville Public Library > Voorheesville, NY > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "jon aubrey" <> > To: "Multiple recipients of list" <> > Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 5:00 PM > Subject: Re: Dealing with disturbing content > > >> I've found that most patrons realize the risks and >> responsibilities in borrowing and viewing potentially >> disturbing and/or offensive video material. The few >> patrons who have ever complained to me personally >> about content have been elderly ones, not parents of >> teens or others. >> One question I do have is about films that were >> released with an NR (not rated) "rating." A good >> example of this would be Abel Ferrara's Bad >> Lieutenant, a film that's in our collection, available >> for check-out to teens who have been given permission >> to borrow videos by their parents, and not clearly >> marked as NR (and certainly not labeled by the library >> as containing potentially disturbing subject matter >> and imagery). This film went the NR route for a >> reason. Parts of it would have garnered the film an X >> rating had it ever been rated by the MPAA at all (the >> NR indicates that the film has circumvented the rating >> process altogether). No one has ever complained about >> the content of this film, but we're a very liberal >> community. After all, we did purchase the film in the >> first place. Has anyone out there ever had a problem >> with, or question about circulating an NR film? >> >> Jon A. >> Queens, NY >> >> >> __________________________________________________ >> Do You Yahoo!? >> Yahoo! Greetings - Send FREE e-cards for every occasion! >> >