15 Banned Films That Shocked The World

Notorious films known for the panic they inspired in the world's moral guardians.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moYbTH0QhDY From the dawn of cinema, there have been movies which have run into difficulties with the powers that be, and were banned for the sake of keeping the public morally hygienic. Some countries are prolific banners of movies, for example, the censors in Germany, Norway, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand and Australia just seem to hate all violent horror movies full stop. They have a liberal attitude towards nudity and sex but any degree of €˜high impact violence€™, as they call it, gets a movie into serious trouble €“ step forward Hostel, Saw and Human Centipede 2: Final Sequence. For a long time, the British censors were the toughest in the Western world and in the early 1980s, the 'Video Nasty' phenomenon saw 39 films successfully prosecuted under obscenity laws. The outbreak of hysteria which accompanied the banning of the movies was wholly out of proportion to their actual content for the most part, and the British press was largely guilty of whipping up the hysteria which fueled the nonsense. This rush to ban what was mainly a bunch of badly made horror films was a cultural phenomenon specific to Britain, however, the nastiest of the nasties have faced prohibition from censors around the world. Today's film censorship regime in Britain is relatively laid back compared to the draconian drama in the Video Nasty days - several extremely controversial films such as A Serbian Film have been passed by the BBFC, albeit with cuts, but these films have been outright banned in many other Western countries - countries which are socially more liberal than Britain. It is not just the miscreants of horror cinema that are on the receiving end of the censors€™ scissors, films can be banned for crimes as diverse as blasphemy, propaganda or simply depicting and discussing matter that other countries find objectionable. In this article there are 15 films which have been consistently banned in countries all over the globe. Some are no longer widely banned, but all 15 are notorious for their troubled censorship histories and the panic they inspired in the world's moral guardians.

15. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Battleship PotemkinBanned: France, Germany, Finland, South Korea, Spain One would hardly believe that a B&W, silent era of cinema film could cause such fuss as to be banned in a slew of countries. This is an instance of a propaganda film being banned for fear of whipping up communist sympathies within the banning countries€™ jurisdiction. Battleship Potemkin is viewed by many critics to be the best Propaganda film ever made as well as one of the all time cinematic greats. It certainly has a rich pedigree in the shape of director Sergei Eisenstein who is an extremely well regarded film maker. The Odessa steps sequence with the baby in the pram is as thrilling today as it was 90 years ago. The film is based upon the 1905 mutiny of the crew of the ship Potemkin against the Tsarist regime. Eisenstein was also trying out cutting edge new techniques to bring emotional immediacy to the film. You know you have an effective propaganda film when Joseph Goebbels praises your film as the best he has ever seen and that anyone who was politically undecided would become an instant Bolshevik after viewing it. Battleship Potemkin€™s revolutionary, communist politics led to either severe censorship or an outright ban for the film in a host of countries. It was finally given an X certificate in the UK in 1954. Naturally the film was banned in West Germany, even though it was widely screened in Germany in 1925. Restored to its full condition now, Battleship Potemkin has a 100% €˜fresh€™ critical rating on rotten tomatoes which gives you a good indication of its critical stature and the historical importance of the film.
Contributor
Contributor

My first film watched was Carrie aged 2 on my dad's knee. Educated at The University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin. Fan of Arthouse, Exploitation, Horror, Euro Trash, Giallo, New French Extremism. Weaned at the bosom of a Russ Meyer starlet. The bleaker, artier or sleazier the better!

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