Easy to Watch Documentary, but Somewhat Hard to Follow for Outsiders
Censorship: A Thriller is a documentary about the Swedish Censorship Board which closed its doors in 2011, after a century of policing movie releases in Sweden. One of the misconceptions that Americans have is that almost everything is fair game in Sweden. This documentary shows that historically that has not been true. For instance, Martin Scorsese's Casino, which played in America uncut with an R-rating, had to be trimmed in Sweden. This documentary certainly educated this American viewer.
However, because the film was made for Swedish audiences, sections can be confusing for outsiders who do not know the background. For instance, the film mentions a couple of notorious Swedish crime cases (Mattias Fink and a more recent case involving youths and gang rape) that were unknown to this viewer. More troubling, I never understood what was going to replace the Swedish Censorship Board. Many interviewed were convinced the Board's disbandment would mean greater freedom. However, one filmmaker, who had made a film consisting of all scenes cut by the censors over the years, disagreed, but since I did not understand what was replacing the board, I could not grasp the director's comments.
I enjoyed watching Censorship: A Thriller. I liked seeing Christina Lindberg all of the years after her notorious Thriller: A Cruel Picture. I liked the comments by the former staff members of the Swedish Censorship Board. The film clips were entertaining. This was an easy hour to watch. I just wish that some of the content had been more clearly discussed.
One word of caution is needed. This film does include clips of banned material. A couple of the clips are sexually explicit (hardcore) in nature, so this is not a documentary for all audiences.
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