6 user 22 critic

Obscene (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 27 February 2009 (UK)
3:18 | Trailer
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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Credited cast:
Amiri Baraka ... Self
Lenny Bruce ... Self (archive footage)
William S. Burroughs ... Self (archive footage)
Jim Carroll Jim Carroll ... Self
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Lawrence Ferlinghetti ... Self
Al Goldstein ... Self
Erica Jong Erica Jong ... Self
Ray Manzarek ... Self
John Rechy John Rechy ... Self
Barney Rosset Barney Rosset ... Self
Ed Sanders Ed Sanders ... Self
John Sayles
Joseph Strick Joseph Strick ... Self
Gore Vidal ... Self
John Waters ... Self


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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Did You Know?


Lenny (1974) is a fictionalization of the real life person also portrayed in works such as Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998), Lenny Bruce in 'Lenny Bruce' (1967), Looking for Lenny (2011), Lenny Bruce: Without Tears (1972), that is also mentioned as an influence in documentaries like this one, Fuck (2005) and Hungry i reunion (1981). See more »


References The Challenge (1938) See more »


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User Reviews

Free speech
2 August 2009 | by lreynaertSee 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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27 February 2009 (UK) See more »

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Nieprzyzwoity wydawca See more »


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