VOTD: A Brief History of Censorship in Film

censorship in film

Everyone knows about battles with the Motion Picture Association of America, in which directors and producers disagree with the board over a rating. The stories are plentiful, of being forced to cut a scene out of a film to get a lower rating, of a harsh rating given to a mild film, all that kind of stuff. You can kill literally millions of people in a movie and get a PG-13 if there’s no blood, but three F-words in a family drama lands a film an R rating. Long story short, the MPAA is a joke, but it’s just the culmination of a long history of censorship in film.

If you’re curious about what that long history entails, it’s told in a very brief manner by the team at CineFix. Their latest video in the Film School’D series is called A$$, ( . )( . ), and GUNS: Censorship in Cinema. In about 7 minutes, the video goes from the earliest instances of sex and violence in film through more modern fare like the doc, This Film Is Not Yet Rated. Check out the video below.

Thanks to CineFix for this video about the history of censorship in film.

A Brief History of Censorship in Film

Here’s their description on YouTube:

Ever since we could show things on film, there have been people protesting that “You can’t show THAT on film!” The result is the long and complicated history of censorship (I’m sorry, “advisories”) in Hollywood.

Is the X rating really just censorship in disguise? Why can movies show as much violence as they want and still merit an R, but not so much with the sex? We’ll take you back to the earliest days of cinema, and show you how ratings in Hollywood (and Hollywood’s home country, the U.S. of A.) got to the point they are today.

What did you think? Did we make you think differently about what movies you see, what movies you’d let your kids see, or what you find offensive? We talked a lot about the ratings system in America – but what about other countries?

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