Movies are a powerful form of art and expression, but they can sometimes provoke controversy, censorship, and even legal action. In this article, I will introduce you to eight movies banned worldwide for various reasons, such as political, religious, moral, or cultural sensitivities. I will also write a paragraph on each movie to explain why it was banned and its impact on the audience and the filmmakers. Finally, I will give you some open-ended questions to stimulate your curiosity and critical thinking about these movies and the issues they raise.
1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
This dystopian film by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, follows the violent exploits of Alex, a young delinquent who leads a gang of thugs in futuristic Britain. Alex is arrested and subjected to a controversial rehabilitation program that uses psychological conditioning to make him abhor violence and sex. However, this also deprives him of his free will and identity, making him vulnerable to his former victims and society.
A Clockwork Orange was banned in several countries, such as Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, and Malaysia, for its graphic depiction of violence, rape, torture, and murder. It was also voluntarily withdrawn from distribution in the UK by Kubrick himself after he received death threats and accusations of inspiring copycat crimes. After Kubrick’s death, the film was not released in the UK until 2000. The film is widely regarded as a masterpiece of cinema and a provocative commentary on human nature, morality, and social control.
2. Persepolis (2007)
This is an animated film based on the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, who tells her personal story of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. The film depicts the oppression, violence, and censorship she and her family faced under the Islamic regime and her rebellious spirit and love for Western culture. The film was banned in Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia, and several other countries for being anti-Islamic, anti-Iranian, and blasphemous.
3. Zoolander (2001)
This is a comedy film starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as two dim-witted male models brainwashed by a fashion mogul to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, who plans to end child labor in his country. The film was banned in Malaysia, Singapore, and several other countries for mocking their political leaders, culture, and religion. The film was also criticized for being insensitive to the 9/11 attacks shortly before its release.
4. The Simpsons Movie (2007)
This is a feature-length adaptation of the popular animated series that follows the adventures of Homer Simpson and his dysfunctional family. In the film, Homer accidentally causes an environmental disaster that leads to the U.S. government sealing off Springfield under a giant dome. The film was banned in Burma (Myanmar) for using the colors red and yellow, associated with the opposition party and the monk-led protests in 2007. The film was also banned in Venezuela for mocking President Hugo Chavez.
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
This is a horror film about a group of friends who encounter a family of cannibals led by Leatherface, a masked killer who wields a chainsaw. The film was inspired by the real-life crimes of serial killer Ed Gein but was not based on any specific events. The film was banned in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, and Sweden, for being extremely violent, gory, and disturbing.
Movies are a powerful form of art and entertainment that can inspire, educate, challenge, and entertain us. However, not all movies are welcomed or appreciated by everyone. Some movies are so controversial, provocative or offensive that they are banned in some countries or regions for various reasons. Here are eight movies that have been banned in most of the countries, according to some sources. I will write a paragraph on each movie and give some open-ended questions for further discussion.