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Old 14th July 2009, 02:20   #1
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Question Film Censorship: What do you think?

Been a long time since i started any thread, but this subject has been bugging me for a while, and none more varied an audience and participants than at TBHP, to share my views and help me understand whats up!!

I used to think that I do not support censorship. I thought its archaic. Just one of those bad things that the Brits left us with.

But, i came across this text recently from CBFC:

"Film censorship becomes necessary because a film motivates thought and action and assures a high degree of attention and retention as compared to the printed word. The combination of act and speech, sight and sound in semi darkness of the theatre with elimination of all distracting ideas will have a strong impact on the minds of the viewers and can affect emotions. Therefore, it has as much potential for evil as it has for good and has an equal potential to instill or cultivate violent or good behaviour. It cannot be equated with other modes of communication. Censorship by prior restraint is, therefore, not only desirable but also necessary"

Now imagine a movie being released with heavy regionalistic/religionistic/communalistic undertones. What will that do to the vast masses that are incapable of making a practical judgement and are more than willing to be swayed so that they have something to blame their personal plight on? Makes censorship quite justified, doesn't it?

But then, i see so much of biased news on the tv, so many programs that go beyond any level of decency on what used to be music channels, so many ads (fairness cream ads being the worst) that leaves you self degraded, that it makes me feel we dont have enough censorship.

On the other hand, i see movies like My Cousin Vinny, Snatch, Omkara being shown that have half the dialogues edited out because they contained the f word, or the c word etc etc. And I can't help but mention South Park on VH1 where they say, " Oh my God! They killed Kenny. You Beeeeeep." That seems so ridiculous!!

CBFC and TV censorship might operate in different organisations but they reach the same audience.

So... i dont know. Do we need censorship because a majority of the audience is not mature enough to make a reasonable judgement? Or are we? I remember the good old days when DD Metro used to telecast movies that would make today's television producers blush.

What do you think? Whats up people??

Last edited by amitoj : 14th July 2009 at 02:23.
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Old 14th July 2009, 06:03   #2
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Very interesting topic and here are my two cents.

Censorship is very much required, at least in TV programs where a family is sitting together and watching the TV. There are many time, I find it very uncomfortable seeing certain programs/ clips, etc., when my family is around.

The problem is that there is a no unified organization that kind of looks at both the movies and TV. What's the point of taking out certain things in movies and the same being telecasted by the local TV operator (mostly pirated).

In most developed countries, I have observed that most channels that are free to air are not allowed to air anything that would impact kids or the family viewing time (up to 9 pm). So, most of these programs don't even have the "s" word let alone the "f" word.

That way, we can ensure that the kids are not seeing what they are not supposed to at an early age and it is easy for the entire family to sit at watch these programs.

Remember the Justin Timerlake and Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction on TV during the super bowl game, the major hue and cry was because it was being by everyone including kids and that is not acceptable.

Coming to the majority of the audience who are not capable of making their own opinions or judgements, I am not sure if censorship would help as I see this as a ability that is lacking in them. So, how can someone keep telling them what is right and what is not. At some point they need to start making their judgements.
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Old 14th July 2009, 09:59   #3
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The movies made in India till the 2000 had a strong Good Hero and Bad Villain theme.
The hero standing for all that is Good while the villain exaggerated all that is evil.

If movies do have a strong impact on society why do I see more villains than heroes.
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Old 14th July 2009, 10:19   #4
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Well my take is a bit different. There should be censorship on all television content. today if you watch any Hindi news channel you will see utter rubbish like "Husband's affair with Mother-in-law" or "Chudial something something" where they dedicate a two hour slot to dirt, filth and garbage being shown.

Secondly, if you remember the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks, you had every television channel showing more than what was required and even worse was a Hindi Channel which spoke to one of the perpetrators during the attacks.

Thirdly you have these channels showing dirty graphics like very recently in the Michael Jackson case where they talk about his love life, his substance abuse, etc.

Then you see these Television serials (like the child marriage one, forgot that name, on the Hindi Channel Colors) and reality shows where children are put under tremendous pressure by their parents and ridiculed by judges, etc. If you want to present a theme on child marriage, its good, but restrict it to a mini series with 10 episodes, not one that drags on and on Mon-Fri for ages where all you see a girl does is cry.

I could go on and on but moderate censorship should include all spectrums in the film and television industry.
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Old 14th July 2009, 11:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muralisk View Post
Very interesting topic and here are my two cents.

Censorship is very much required, at least in TV programs where a family is sitting together and watching the TV. There are many time, I find it very uncomfortable seeing certain programs/ clips, etc., when my family is around.

The problem is that there is a no unified organization that kind of looks at both the movies and TV. What's the point of taking out certain things in movies and the same being telecasted by the local TV operator (mostly pirated).

In most developed countries, I have observed that most channels that are free to air are not allowed to air anything that would impact kids or the family viewing time (up to 9 pm). So, most of these programs don't even have the "s" word let alone the "f" word.

That way, we can ensure that the kids are not seeing what they are not supposed to at an early age and it is easy for the entire family to sit at watch these programs.

Remember the Justin Timerlake and Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction on TV during the super bowl game, the major hue and cry was because it was being by everyone including kids and that is not acceptable.

Coming to the majority of the audience who are not capable of making their own opinions or judgements, I am not sure if censorship would help as I see this as a ability that is lacking in them. So, how can someone keep telling them what is right and what is not. At some point they need to start making their judgements.
Precisely the point why censorship cannot be done away in India.
Till we have curtains between different generations within same family, till we cannot tolerate free speech, lets say between different opinions on religions, ideas, way of life ... we should not see / hear things openly. Because its gonna make us uncomfortable.

Of course when I talk about we/us, I am talking about a majority of Indians.
I would never feel uncomfortable sitting with my parents, and watching a condom advertisement or a lingerie commercial. But they would.

So I believe let these ppl live in their own secure utopian world where such things don't happen.

Censorship in a way is a reassurance to ppl who live with curtains, that they can continue living so. Why rob it away?

As a mature adult (LOL, I don't think there are many in this world) - I don't believe I need censorship, but I see the world around - I believe they do need it sorely.
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:28   #6
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I find it very amazing, that two people kissing is "adult material" and should be censored as it is detrimental to kids and culture, but a huge Afro American woman putting up her hands behind Akshay Kumars behind is perfectly watchable by the entire family.
If there is such thing as family porn, you see it in the slapstick comedies.
Its okay for kids to learn how to abuse and make fun of disabled etc., but not okay for them to see two people kissing....?

Many parents have no qualms sitting and watching movies where people cut each other, but send their kids to drink water when a kissing scene comes.
The same attitude afflicts the censor board, and this makes the censorship in its current form pretty useless.
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:31   #7
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Censorship starts at home. Most of us do not let our children see what we consider not good for them. Censor board decides what is good for us, to be shown on movies. Govt decides what to inform us and what is not fit for us.

Personally, I'd like to see/hear all whats happening around me without being censored and monitored.
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Old 14th July 2009, 13:04   #8
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Since the advent of Internet, Censorship is a joke.
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Old 14th July 2009, 15:11   #9
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I don't think censorship is doing anything if you see kambakhth ishq the use of abusive language is so liberal.Even I thought Dev D was also quite bad there was such open display of drug abuse and alcoholism...
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Old 14th July 2009, 15:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Since the advent of Internet, Censorship is a joke.
In comparison to watching movies with friends or television with family, the internet comparitively is a more private/intimate experience.

A strange irony, considering that the internet puts you in direct touch with millions of strangers.

I think if anything else, I would personally like internet censorship do work. Somehow.
Feels strange that 5 year old have already grasped and understood the concept of pornography.

When I was 6 I'd somehow understood that looking at naked ladies were exciting to older boys. But that seems very naive in comparison today. Young children are being exposed to full blown sexual images and sexual terms on the internet. It concerns me a little.

But an interesting topic amitoj.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th July 2009 at 15:47.
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Old 14th July 2009, 15:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilkalvani View Post
Well my take is a bit different. There should be censorship on all television content. today if you watch any Hindi news channel you will see utter rubbish like "Husband's affair with Mother-in-law" or "Chudial something something" where they dedicate a two hour slot to dirt, filth and garbage being shown.

Secondly, if you remember the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks, you had every television channel showing more than what was required and even worse was a Hindi Channel which spoke to one of the perpetrators during the attacks.

Thirdly you have these channels showing dirty graphics like very recently in the Michael Jackson case where they talk about his love life, his substance abuse, etc.

Then you see these Television serials (like the child marriage one, forgot that name, on the Hindi Channel Colors) and reality shows where children are put under tremendous pressure by their parents and ridiculed by judges, etc. If you want to present a theme on child marriage, its good, but restrict it to a mini series with 10 episodes, not one that drags on and on Mon-Fri for ages where all you see a girl does is cry.

I could go on and on but moderate censorship should include all spectrums in the film and television industry.

Somehow I remember movie Die Heard where the bad guys knew what media is going to do and they use it for their advantage. During the mumbai incident I was feeling that same thing is happening in real life and it was confirmed after few days.

What to say. We need to start censoring TV at least during these emergency times.
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Old 14th July 2009, 16:29   #12
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So, censorship is a necessary evil, but right now in its current form it is a lame duck.

Good point about the internet though. But arent there parental control softwares that can be used more effectively than State censorship.

And then there is this social censorship where producers give in to pressures to change the name of a movie or edit some parts out. Will that time ever come when we will see a movie making direct fun of a sitting PM / President?

Indian cinema till the 70s made movies that were way ahead of their times. Directors were not afraid to showcase their ideas or views. There was censorship then too but it also must have been equally open minded.

What would it take to reach those levels of maturity again?
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Old 14th July 2009, 16:36   #13
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We do have U/A, A and other specifications for movies right?

There were video images of the carnage in Mumbai, actual live videos captured by the cameras in the hotels that show terrorists killing people in cold blood. Those were taken off by youtube.

Censorship? Internet? TV Shows? News? Cinema? Freedom of Speech?

We havent evolved to a level where we can say whats wrong, whats right and whats enough. Till then like cattle we will have to be herded by censors.

The 3 monkeys only told us what not to do, they didnt tell us what is good and what is bad.
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Old 14th July 2009, 18:13   #14
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Censorship in India is a joke because of its hardlined, vague vision of Indian culture and sensibilities. We simply can't have same censor certificate applying to a toddler and a 35 year old married person.

We have to have age based certification system to begin with. Next, censorship is not limited to just sex, drugs, and violence. Religious fundamentalism, racism, suggestive vulgarity (in jokes, actions), double-meaning dialogues, all need to be covered under censorship.

As someone pointed out, issues like child marriage, womb killing, religious fundamentalism (babri case, for example), violence during riots, rape (even in TV News), abortion(widely aired advert these days), tampon adverts, should also be censored or shown at appropriate times. Most developed countries have rules against showing dead people on television and refrain from showing video footage of riots, natural tragedies, etc, atleast not before a certain time.

Hence, we need to have mature and wise censorship rather than just full and hardlined stance against one or two problems.
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Old 14th July 2009, 18:33   #15
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Was the title changed from Censorship to Film Censorship? If so my comments dont hold.
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