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Obscene (2007)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 183 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 6 user | 24 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A look at the life and work of American publisher Barney Rosset, who struggled to bring controversial works like "Tropic of Cancer" and "Naked Lunch" to publication.

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Amiri Baraka ...
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Lenny Bruce ...
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Jim Carroll ...
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Lawrence Ferlinghetti ...
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Al Goldstein ...
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Erica Jong ...
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John Rechy ...
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Barney Rosset ...
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Ed Sanders ...
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Joseph Strick ...
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A look at the life and work of American publisher Barney Rosset, who struggled to bring controversial works like "Tropic of Cancer" and "Naked Lunch" to publication.

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27 February 2009 (UK)  »

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Free speech
2 August 2009 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

This documentary gives a fair picture of the life of the courageous editor Barney Rosset, the founder of Grove Press, which published such 'pornographic' authors as the Marquis de Sade, Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs or D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley's Lover). From the beginning, his publishing house was a heavy thorn in the eye of the Moral 'Majority' (power, not numbers). One sees in this picture even a disgusted and angry US President waving before a TV camera, 'obscene' photos distributed by Rosset's press. As always, the Moral 'Majority' was and is heavily obsessed by sex, but not by killing in wars. But did porn kill until now one human being on earth? What and where is the 'real' pornography?

Barney Rosset was physically threatened and ultimately, his headquarters were bombed (!) by apparently members of a secret service. He was a true pioneer of free speech, also in sexual matters. Of course, he was interested in sex. Who is not, in a positive or negative sense? In any case, he didn't thrive on the profoundly vulgar standards of the actual adult industry, a multi-billion dollar business built on hundreds of years of sexual repression. As Christopher Hitchens states in his formidable book 'God is not great': 'god gave man a sexual impulse, only for religion to suppress it.'

This documentary is a must see for all people interested in free speech, in the policies of the Moral 'Majority' and in the real nature of mankind.


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