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Twentynine Palms Screenings to Go Ahead

16 July 2004

Twentynine Palms Screenings to Go Ahead

The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards has failed in its attempt to halt screenings of the French film Twentynine Palms, Film Festival organisers learnt this afternoon. The decision by the President of the Film and Literature Review Board to decline the Society’s application for an injunction was a technical one: the application had been made outside the statutory time limit. The Society’s attempt to halt screenings of Anatomy of Hell earlier in the week also failed.

Let’s hope this marks the end of the Society’s campaign to disrupt this year’s Film Festival. In the last two weeks we have had to endure the Society’s accusations that we promote the sexual exploitation of children and the degradation of women. Their submissions on both films make exactly the same unsubstantiated claim: “It goes without saying that all those with proclivities to sexual deviancy and criminal intent towards vulnerable women in our society would be drawn to a depraved film like this one.” If this claim weren’t so patently absurd, we’d be insulted. I wonder how many of the 1350 Aucklanders who have purchased tickets for our screenings the Society would happily answer to this description.

The fundamental question remains: why does the Secretary for Internal Affairs continue to give these people leave to appeal? As far as I can see they are a burden on the Classification Office, the Department of Internal Affairs, the Board of Review and the Film Festival. They succeed only in publicising their own righteousness, along with the very films they oppose – and they’re costing the country a bundle.


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