23 February 2013 | eyeforfilm.co.uk | See recent eyeforfilm.co.uk news »

How far should national censors go in limiting the kind of sex we can see onscreen? The Australian Classification Board has come under fire for banning Travis Mathews film I Want Your Love due to its unsimulated gay sex scenes - not least because it recently approved scenes of real life bestiality in Canadian documentary Donkey Love.

The history of films featuring real sex that are aimed at general audiences rather than just the pornography market is a strange one. Until the late Sixties, no national censor would certify them and they simply weren't shown in mainstream cinemas. More recently, the UK's BBFC has agreed to certify films like The Idiots, Baise-Moi and 9 Songs, showing more sympathy to film with arthouse appeal and turning down those whose sexual content it describes as gratuitous. A few films, like Pink Flamingos, have been successfully argued to have content whose gratuitous »

- Jennie Kermode

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