Re: Banned Videos/Censorship challenges

Kathy Olsen (KOLSEN@mail.bcl.lib.fl.us)
Sun, 21 Sep 1997 10:43:14 -0400

> Date sent: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 20:19:54 -0700
> Send reply to: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> From: vidlib@kendaco.telebyte.com
> To: Multiple recipients of list <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
> Subject: Re: Banned Videos/Censorship challenges

> Thanks to all of you who responded to my request for video censorship
> attempts and related websites (surprisingly, very little). I've
> decided to go with a list based on the criteria that 1) the film was
> controversial, and 2) I liked it. I realize these are pretty
> stringent, objective criteria, and I'd be happy to hear any
> suggestions from others (I might have missed something...um....or
> just not liked it). Anyway, pre-publication, here's my list so far.
> If you're looking for problems with patrons, I suspect you can raise
> something of a ruckus with the following:
>
> Akira
> Betty Blue
> Boys of St. Vincent
> The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
> Crumb
> Damned in the U.S.A.
> Devil in the Flesh (1987)
> Forbidden Love
> The 4th Man
> Heat and Sunlight
> In the Realm of the Senses
> Last Temptation of Christ
> Man Bites Dog
> My Life as a Dog
> My Own Private Idaho
> Paris Is Burning
> Priest
> Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down
> The Tin Drum
> Tongues Untied
>
> Randy Pitman
> Editor
> Video Librarian
> 3672 NE Liverpool Dr.
> Bremerton WA 98311
> (800) 692-2270
> vidlib@videolibrarian.com
>
At Broward County Library, we buy "popular" videos of all ratings,
and have had some interesting titles requested for removal:
Basic Instinct
Body of Evidence
Clockwork Orange
Mighty Aphrodite
O Lucky Man
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Padre Padrone
Piano, The
In each case, the complaint has focused on the sexual content of the
film, and although Basic Instinct has some extremely violent scenes,
the patron didn't even mention the violence, only how outraged they
were that we would buy such films with sex and nudity with their tax
dollars. The one that I'm working on right now, Mighty Aphrodite,
was described by the patron as "..so near being a porno x-rated film"
and she "was shocked! and offended that innocently people carry this
trash into their homes!..". (Was I watching the same film that
she was???) Each time, we have decided to retain the video in
question.

Many people complained that R-rated films were not housed in a
separate area where only adults would be able to check them out.
Here at Broward County, we don't restrict access to any materials to
any patron. There's a statement on our library card application
that states if a parent is signing to obtain a card for their child
(necessary for anyone 17 or younger), they realize that access to the
entire collection will be unrestricted to their child. Our formal
response to these complaints is that we feel it's the parents'
responsibility to supervise their children's reading, listening, and
viewing choices, and that our videos are clearly marked with the MPAA
rating.

Kathy Olsen
Broward County Library
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
954-357-7517
kolsen@mail.bcl.lib.fl.us