Barbados' Film Censorship Board is taking another look at the award winning film, Black Swan , after initially banning it last week in a move that triggered an appeal by one cinema and sparked a petition by disappointed movie goers and other
The Board will decide this week, after another screening, whether Barbadians will get to see the film in cinemas after all.
The Board instituted the ban deeming the film inappropriate for viewing because of offensive sexual behaviour. The movie features a scene depicting a lesbian encounter.
Barbados is just one of two countries that have banned Black Swan , the other being the United Arab Emirates. It has been rated R in most other countries.
After the ban was announced, the Olympus Theatres filed an appeal and the Film Censorship Board agreed to review the movie.
An online petition, Against the Affront to Freedom of Expression in Barbados by the Barbados Board of Film Censors , and a Facebook group entitled For Freedom of Thought and Expression in Barbados have been gaining momentum and had reached
247 signatures and 459 members, respectively, by this morning.
The online petition makes several demands of the Film Censorship Board, including that it reverse its decision to restrict freedom of expression by banning the film ; understand the meanings and intent of MPAA film ratings (or the rating from the
films originating country), that is, to inform parents on the suitability of a film for viewing by children, and to protect artistic freedom; refrain from changing a films rating; and hold a limited screening of films to unbiased members of the public
and rely on their input before pronouncing a ban. The petition says
The Barbados Board of Film Censors chose to censor this film, without any discussion about its content with the public, and subsequently failing to publish adequately explained reasons behind its decision. We believe that freedom
of expression is a key pillar in a democratic society, and when leaders choose to censor material without consulting the public, particularly artistic material which may be of cultural significance, our whole society loses.
Indeed, in this case, it is patronizing that the board doesn't think that Barbadians can handle a film that has won such prestigious awards, and that people the world over are enjoying...Banning art sets a dangerous precedent,
which encourages those around the world who wish to restrict freedom of expression.
24th February 2011. See
The Barbados film censorship board has reversed a decision to ban the cinema release of Black Swan over its sexual and violent content.
The Cinematograph Film Censorship Board reviewed its decision after a theatre filed an appeal. The board has announced that the movie will now be shown with an "R'' rating.