Cinema is one of the most creative forms of expression that caters to the masses. The harshest reality can be told in a light-hearted comedy. That is the magic of the cinema. Cinema brings out the mirror of social reality which is masked by the veils of the elites. There is also the kind of cinema which is made for just the entertainment of the masses. Commercially or in an artistic way, cinema is a form of escape for the masses. But sometimes while showing masses the reality, it forgets that the common people are not ready to hear or accept the unpleasant truths that lurk in the society.
Forget harsh reality in public life, there are controversial subjects that cinema showcases which happen in families and religious institutions. Who wants to believe that incest actually exists in many families or homosexuality happens amidst the catholic priests in a church. Because of such sensitive subjects, certain movies are banned to avoid controversy. This happens all over the world when the subject of the movies are too difficult to digest by the government or the common masses. Here are some movies that were banned internationally:
#A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Adapted from Anthony Burgess’ novel of the same name, A clockwork orange is considered to be one of the most controversial films of all time. The movie stars Malcolm McDowell playing a sociopathic Alex Delarge who is captured and exposed to aversion therapeutic techniques from the government to curb the crime rate in the society. Alex resists it. The film is charismatic and set in a dystopia. The film had violent scenes depicting rape and murder. The violent and disturbing themes banned the film in Ireland and Singapore
# Borat (2006)
This satirical film starring Sacha Barron Cohen playing the titular character of Borat got severe criticism from political leaders from the Gulf countries. The film showcases the story of a reporter from Kazakistancalled Borat who is sent to the USA to report on the ‘greatest country of the world’. however, on his arrival, his motive changes as he is more interested in finding the location of Pamela Anderson and wanting to marry her.
The film had a brilliant sense of mockery and became a commercial success in the USA. But prior to its release, it fuelled the political leaders of Kazakistan and was banned in all Arabian countries except Lebanon. It also faced criticism from the Russian government for being played in the theatres. However today, the Kazakistan has screened it for increasing the country’s tourism
#Brokeback Mountain (2005)
One of Ang Lee’s best film to date was met with fuelling controversies from the conservative sections of the society. The film showcases a complex romantic relationship between two cowboys. People say that film missed its share of Academy Awards because of its homosexual content. The sheer depiction of homosexuality caused the film to be banned in the conservative states of the USA, and also in UAE as it went against the religious beliefs and also in China for its disturbing sexual content. Youtube Trailer. IMDB
#The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
This 1970s film had a sheer depiction of violence, but however, this horror movie gained the title to be one of the most popular cinematic masterpieces in the horror genre. The film showcased a disfigured serial killer who wears the skin of his victims after killing them. The gory themes of the movie included cannibalism. The film met with controversy and was banned in UK, West Germany, and Singapore. There are also very depressing facts about this 70s classic, you can find it here.
#The Evil Dead (1981)
The 1980s is considered to be the decade of cult horror films with Evil DEad being one of the most popular, yet controversial movies of the horror genre. Evil dead shows a drug rave in the cabin woods gone bad amongst five friends and the arrival of demonic spirits.
The film had gory details and critics felt that some of the violence was not needed, especially the brutal rape scene involving a tree. The sexist motifs and undertones with violence caused the film to be banned in Iceland, Ireland, Finland, Germany
#Battle Royale (2000)
Prior to the Hunger Games, Battle Royale was the film that showcased naturalism and survival of the fittest. The movie showcased violence amidst teenage Japanese students who had to kill each other on a remote island in order to survive. This surviving winner would be the winner. The film had violence, but its dark satirical humor made the film a big success in Japan, even though it was banned in European countries including Germany.
Films have dark and gory details. It might be disturbing for the audiences, but sometimes the creative freedom must be allowed. Cinema is a combination of fact, social reality, and largely fiction. We as audiences must be smarter to not mix all three. If there is learning through the film, then imbibe it, if not, then take it as a source of entertainment.