Re: [Videolib] Film Censorship

MileFilms@aol.com
Tue, 18 Jan 2005 20:12:19 EST

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In a message dated 1/18/05 7:51:46 PM, CartfordP@jocolibrary.org writes:

> A guideline is not censorship.=C2=A0 The city is perfectly within its righ=
ts to=20
> exercise some discretion over what kinds of films will be shown, in public=
,=20
> at its libraries.=C2=A0 What is disturbing is that last sentence:=C2=A0=20=
=E2=80=9CThe film is no=20
> longer available for checkout.=E2=80=9D
>=20

I'm sure I've said this before, so forgive me. If guidelines and discretion=20
are used with sensitivity and intelligence then absolutely! There have been=20
very few cases of censorship that I can remember at a respected institution=20=
that=20
was not based on rumor and irrational fears rather than on knowledge of the=20
work and it's artistic significance. There are some elected officials with=20
sympathy for culture and art (Governor Pataki is one, for example), but on t=
he=20
whole, in a utopian world, governments should be responsible for governing a=
nd=20
libraries and schools should be responsible for educating. Especially coming=
in=20
this forum, the concept that city officials would know more about their=20
community's educational and cultural needs is a fairly severe judgement on a=
=20
librarian's worth.=20

Having distributed several controversial films and having gone to college=20
(and presented many films) in a very born-again community, I found that if y=
ou=20
treat all complaints with respect (yes, even the bizarre or stupid ones -- y=
ou=20
just kindly make them work harder by asking them to write a letter with=20
authoritive material backing up their complaints) and make an honest and val=
id=20
attempt to have panels presenting all sides at those specific "troubled" eve=
nts,=20
then the community has come away with something valuable. It's a shame to ca=
ncel=20
events unless the work is totally inappropriate to the community. Like Nazi=20
films on Yom Kippur in Skokie, Illinois or Last Temptation of Christ on East=
er=20
in Jersey City, NJ.=20

I absolutely agree with the last sentence, however! That was the part that=20
was most disturbing to me as well.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640 USA
Phone: (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
www.milestonefilms.com

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In a message dated 1/18/05 7:51:46 PM, CartfordP@jocolibrary.org writes:


A guideline is not ce= nsorship.=C2=A0 The city is perfectly within its rights to exercise some dis= cretion over what kinds of films will be shown, in public, at its libraries.= =C2=A0 What is disturbing is that last sentence:=C2=A0 =E2=80= =9CThe film is no longer available for checkout.=E2=80=9D


I'm sure I've said this before, so forgive me. If guidelines and discreti= on are used with sensitivity and intelligence then absolutely! There have be= en very few cases of censorship that I can remember at a respected instituti= on that was not based on rumor and irrational fears rather than on knowledge= of the work and it's artistic significance. There are some elected official= s with sympathy for culture and art (Governor Pataki is one, for example), b= ut on the whole, in a utopian world, governments should be responsible for g= overning and libraries and schools should be responsible for educating. Espe= cially coming in this forum, the concept that city officials would know more= about their community's educational and cultural needs is a fairly severe j= udgement on a librarian's worth.

Having distributed several controversial films and having gone to college (a= nd presented many films) in a very born-again community, I found that if you= treat all complaints with respect (yes, even the bizarre or stupid ones --=20= you just kindly make them work harder by asking them to write a letter with=20= authoritive material backing up their complaints) and make an honest and val= id attempt to have panels presenting all sides at those specific "troubled"=20= events, then the community has come away with something valuable. It's a sha= me to cancel events unless the work is totally inappropriate to the communit= y. Like Nazi films on Yom Kippur in Skokie, Illinois or Last Temptation of C= hrist on Easter in Jersey City, NJ.

I absolutely agree with the last sentence, however! That was the part that w= as most disturbing to me as well.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640 USA
Phone: (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
www.milestonefilms.com
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