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Liberal Censors Approve Sodomy

2 December 2004

Liberal Lesbian and Homosexual Censors Approve Sodomy

The President of the Film and Literature Board of Review, Rotorua-based barrister Ms Claudia Elliott, described as a “lesbian and staunch left-winger,” “staunch Labour Party activist” and “radical feminist,” in the latest Investigate Magazine (Dec. 04, p. 36); has just issued a classification decision (dated 1 Dec.) on the brutal sex-violence film “Irreversible”. The Board has refused to direct the distributor to make excisions to the film to remove “objectionable” content, or ban it, remedies sought by the Society. (The Society made its application to the Board for a review of the film’s classification on 4 August 2004 just days after it had been reclassified as R18 for theatrical release by the Chief Censor, Mr Bill Hastings, and a practising homosexual).

The Board has classified “Irreversible” R18 for theatrical release despite the fact that it includes a brutal depiction of the sodomising of a young pregnant woman by a drug-crazed homosexual which lasts ten minutes, gratuitous ultra-violence, obscene language throughout and degrading sexual content (e.g. scenes of men masturbating, including the film director Gaspar Noe, while they get sexually aroused watching a man getting brutally assaulted and killed in a “gay” S&M sex club. The rapist fantasises that he is sodomising a young boy as he performs the brutal act).

Ms Elliott was directly responsible for allowing the film to be screened for over a month in the Rialto theatres in three main cities prior to convening a Board hearing on 21 October 2004 to review its classification. She refused an application from the Society for an interim restriction order against the film which was applied for on 4 August 2004. Her decision to refuse the order application was challenged in the High Court by the Society by way of a judicial review. The Society succeeded in its appeal against the decision based on two grounds involving “legal errors” and it was sent back to Ms Elliott for reconsideration. In her revised classification decision she again refused to grant an order.

The Chief Censor and his Deputy and Ms Nicola McCully, a lesbian, viewed the film and their Office issued a classification decision (OFLC Ref. 401147) dated 28 July 2004 (p. 5) stating:

“The anal rape of the character Alex is shown as an horrific, brutalising act… The attacker’s attention is caught and he turns and seizes Alex, exclaiming “You’re dead, bitch”. She screams, cries and pleads with him to let her go but he holds a knife to her throat and taunts and fondles her. He forces her to her knees and straddles her body, fumbling at her clothing with one hand and holding the other over her mouth. As he rapes Alex the man threatens and taunts her continually, in a kind of obscenely misogynistic running commentary that includes, “Spread your legs, bitch”, “Take this in your ass, cunt” and “You shit on me and you’re dead”. Alex emits sounds of extreme distress and constantly tries to push his hand away. When the act is over the rapist rolls off, apparently satiated, leaving Alex retching and in pain.

The rape is followed by a vicious beating when the rapist becomes aware that Alex is creeping away. He stands over her and kicks her face, then kneels over her, punching her face and smashing her head against the ground, all the while issuing a constant stream of abuse.”

The Board, led by Ms Elliott, found that this scene involving the of rape of Alex came within Section 3(2)(b) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 (“the Act”) … “the use of violence or coercion to compel any person to participate in, or submit to, sexual conduct.” It noted that the word “coercion” is not defined in the Act, but applied The Concise Oxford Dictionary definition - “Coercion – controlling of voluntary agent or action by force” – in its deliberations. It concluded in par. 34 of its decision:

“The rape of Alex is the main scene to which Section 3(2)(b) applies. THE BOARD ACCEPTS THAT “IRREVERSIBLE” DOES NOT DEPICT THE USE OF VIOLENCE TO COMPEL A PERSON TO SUBMIT TO SEXUAL CONDUCT. The Board however has to consider whether the depiction of the rape “promotes or supports, or tends to promote or support” the Section 3(2)(b) activity.” [Emphasis added in capitals. It concluded later that the film did not promote or support the activities set out under s. 3[2][b]]

The Society is shocked at the level of incompetence demonstrated by the Board (seven were involved in this appalling decision). It is calling for the immediate removal of the Board. The “use of violence to compel [Alex] to submit to sexual conduct” [anal sex] is a fact that cannot be disputed. The anal rape scene is described as the very “fulcrum” of the film by the Board and for it to fail to apply the law to this section makes a total nonsense of the Board’s entire decision. The Board states:

“The Board finds that the portrayal of Alex’s rape does not suggest in any way that Alex participated willingly in her ordeal. She is clearly brutalised and traumatised by the rape. The film relies on the rape being shown as a depraved event. The scene is the fulcrum for the movie’s fictional world becoming chaotic.”

Here the Board contradicts its finding in s. 32. Alex is not a willing participant in the rape. Rape against a woman by definition is “Violence against that woman”. Rape is not a consensual sexual act. Coercion is an act of force overriding the free will of the victim. In the case of Alex’s rape most definitely involved violence and coercion.

In paragraphs 34-37 the Board concludes that the ten minute rape “avoids prurience or sexualisation”.

“Irreversible” avoids prurience or sexualisation of the rape. The camerawork is without editing and the verbal comments do not portray support for or promotion of rape. The camera always has Alex completely identifiable and the audience’s empathy and sympathy is with her.

The rapist is introduced as a violent thug, firstly hitting the transsexual prostitute. His stroking of Alex’s body is perfunctory, and is a part of his control. The rapist’s hands are shown as weapons of control. The rape scene is grubby and seedy.

The duration of the rape displays it as the shocking event that it is. It shows that rape is about power, domination, and violation, and in that manner opposes rather than “promotes or supports, or even tends to promote or support” rape.

The Board therefore finds “Irreversible” does not meet the required test in Section 3(2)(b).

The Society asks: How can the Board competently address the issue of whether the matters dealt with in s. 3(2)(b) – which do encompass the depiction of the rape of Alex – are promoted or supported, or tend to be promoted or supported; if it cannot even discern that both violence and coercion are involved in the act of sodomy depicted.

In an interview with the film director Gaspar Noe by IndieWire, he admitted that homosexual audiences have given significant approval and support to this film in contrast to heterosexual persons.


The homosexual and lesbian censors and their supporters who have allowed this film to screen in New Zealand to those 18 years of age and older include the experienced homosexual man Bill Hastings and the Deputy Chief Censor, Ms Nicola McCully and Ms Claudia Elliott, both experienced lesbians.

The R18 classification that has been issued by the Board on 1 December 2004 means that any broadcaster can screen “Irreversible” on late-night television to reach a wider and appreciative homosexual and lesbian audience. Bill Hasting's Office wrote in its decision (28 July 2004) that "it is mindful of the need to preserve the widest possible availability of the film". It is part of the homosexual and lesbian agenda to have sexually explicit and degrading films like this one available as widely as possible.


Report: "Irreversible" "Homophobic Rants"
9th November 2004, 10:49 am
Press Release: Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.

Sexual violence depiction causes audience collapse
Friday, 21 March 2003, 8:20 am
Press Release: Society for the Promotion of Community Standards

Response to High Court Decision Re "Irreversible"
1st September 2004, 3:25 p.m.
Press Release: Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.


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