lux film prizeGiornate degli Autori - Venice Days

02 September, 2010

Discussion 1: Freedom of expression and censorship

During the first discussion within the framework of the 27 Times Cinema project, the 27 young cinema lovers had the chance to talk to Turkish journalist Mehmut Basutçu, Iranian filmmaker Masdaq Jaebi, Director of Bologna Film Archive Gian Luca Farinelli and Director of ART for the World - and Producer of Jafar Panahi's short The Accordion - Adelina Fürstenberg about Freedom of expression and censorship. Giorgio Gosetti, Delegate General of Venice Days, and Variety editor Timothy M. Gray chaired the debate.


Michalis Michael said...
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Michalis Michael said...

During this engaging discussion we have concentrated on the critical topic of freedom of expression and censorship. We got a significant insight of how censorship policies vary cross culturally. We have examined the paradigm of Turkey whose government has been imposing heavy censorship until the 90's but now follows a more democratized in terms of freedom of expression, although some occurrences of censorship inevitably exist. In Italy, on the other hand, there existed heavy censorship mainly on sexual issues and because cinema is a fragile institution, censorship works in a bureaucratic way. Similarly, in Canada a film's script must undergo evaluation in order to be funded or sponsored, whereas in Iran censorship goes through waves nowadays and its implementation is essentially associated with ideology. Self-censorship was also mentioned in the discussion whereby a scriptwriter writes the script in such a way so that it becomes accepted by the Western World audience. Personally, i believe that any form of censorship is a barrier to the conveyance of messages to a certain audience, since cinema constitutes a means of communication. Also, ideologies, morals and norms vary from culture to culture and from society to society. We should welcome all these differences and do not necessarily compare them to our own culture's ones, and apply censorship because we consider them wrong.

Michalis Michael said...

Besides, i would like to add, that through the implementation of censorship, certain political objectives may be achieved, and ultimately favour those in power and thus reinforce social inequality, that is the empowerment of those who exert poewer (remember the case that was raised yesterday concerning Stalin and Lenin.

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