A Serbian Film banned in Australia; recalled from all vendors

The controversial horror movie A Serbian Film has been refused classification in Australia – one month after its official release – following a review requested by South Australian Attorney General John Rau and the campaign group Collective Shout.

The film was banned in South Australia one day before its DVD and Blu-ray release, but has been available for purchase and rental in all other states.

Collective Shout called for the picture to be banned nation-wide, leading to a follow-up review of the picture on Monday.

Distributor Accent Films tweeted the board’s decision:

“A SERBIAN FILM has been refused classification by the Classification Review Board. That’s democracy, right? What’s next, a media inquiry???”

As to the status of the film, Accent Films had this to say:

“Yes, the film is banned so the DVD will have to be pulled from stores in due course but we will asses our next options.”

Directed by Srdjan Spasojevic, A Serbian Film concerns an over-the-hill porn star who agrees to appear in an art-house flick, only to discover he must participate in far more depraved acts than he had signed up for.

Originally 103 minutes, an edited 96 minute version received an R18+ rating in Australia, for ‘high impact sexual violence, sex scenes and violence’. That rating, of course, is now null.

As per the Classifcation Review Board’s decision, the film has been recalled from all vendors (including Quickflix).

A.O. Scott wrote about the film in the New York Times:

“A Serbian Film” refers both to Mr. Spasojevic’s movie and also, perhaps more directly, to the movie inside it … The framing tale, with its allusions to the Balkan wars of the 1990s and the greed and political corruption that followed, can thus be seen as a piece of corrosive social criticism, exposing a national psychology of sadism, misogyny and self-pity. That it may also be an example of those things is no contradiction.”

I recently watched the picture, and although it is inarguably extreme and tremendously graphic, it features nothing that would harm or permanently disturb a consenting, thoughtful, adult movie-watcher (for whom the R18+ rating would have limited exposure to). As Scott alludes to in his review, this is not depravity for depravity’s sake; there is artistic merit to the film.

Is it pornography deserving of a ban? Hardly. Is it actually any good? Well, there’s the actual debate.

Discuss: What are your thoughts on the banning of A Serbian Film?

78 Responses to “A Serbian Film banned in Australia; recalled from all vendors”

  1. Wow, this looks really graphic, but the fact that it made the news for getting banned in nearly all forms throughout the world is only going to make people want to see this even more. This movie could be completely banned worldwide and it would still be very popular, people only do drugs cos it’s illegal. Never underestimate the power of rebellion =p

    • ….”people only do drugs cos it’s illegal” – are you for real ????? maybe you meant ‘rebellious teenagers’ – yes? As an intelligent and educated adult I was seeking mind enhancing experiences, regardless of legalities.

  2. as for thoughtful consenting adults, some of us don’t like to watch violet acts, sexual or otherwise. Hopefully it was thoughtful adults that banned it…

    • I can’t stand watching fuchsia acts myself, especially when you are being forced to watch it. Hang on that never happened. If you don’t want to watch something, don’t watch it.
      I am so happy there are thoughtful adults around that can tell me what I, an apparently unthoughtful adult, can and can’t decide what to see on my own.

    • If it’s not your type of film, don’t watch it, no-one is forcing you to. It’s called free choice. Where is the free choice though for the people if it’s banned? What will they ban next and where is the line drawn? i think it should be up to the individual not the power mongers.

  3. I am so glad this movie has been banned in Australia. it shows that at least we still have some morals intact.
    Major shout out to South Australian Attorney General John Rau and the campaign group Collective Shout. May you keep on banning such films.
    If only bans could be made on all types of R18+ porno. The sick perverse feelings they encourage, but hey seeing as the ACT have the highest porn watch rate and the lowest standards on porn film, as this is where the countries leader spend the majority of their time, then there is not much hope…..

    • Hey Sam,

      Opionions are not necesarily fact.

      A Serbian Film is a extreme and graphic film, but it is not pornograpy.

      As for “The sick perverse feelings they encourage” is that how you feel when you watch pornography?

      I can’t speak for other people, unlike yourself, but I don’t get any sick perverse feelings when watching pornography nor A Serbian Film. In the case of the latter, the exact opposite.

      As someone who has ACTUALLY SEEN THE FILM I feel qualified to comment on it.

      The funny thing about censorship is how stupid the people censoring look in retrospect:

      Elvis could only be shown from the waist up on TV

      KISS were Kights In Satan’s Service

      Judas Priest put backwards messages on their albums encouraging kids to commit suicide

      Etc Etc Etc

      • Matt,

        What opionions are not fact? what kind of comment is that?

        People having sex with other people and videoing in, even in subtle format is pornorgaphy.. or what would you call it art?

        I don’t watch pornography, I don’t belive that there is a need or a reason to.

        I think the fact that you have watched the movie does not qualify you at all, infact I think that the reasons you sat through such a movie is the exact reason your comments have no grounding here.

        These sort of movies bring no happiness or further light for human kind, so why have them? What is wrong with innocence? These sort of movies pollute the soul as said once seen there is no unsee. I don’t want my Children to grow up in a world where these sort of movies are public norm.

      • I have to agree with Matt. I am an adult catholic female who watched A Serbian Film recently whom in no way found this movie offensive . It is only a movie .

    • Sam I agree with you wholeheartedly up to the bit about ACT being the highest porn watchers.I didnt know that. Sick films like these should never be released,theres enough badness in the world already.

  4. I’ve seen the uncensored version and It’s the biggest mind-melt of a film you’ll ever see. The high quality of the production and the compelling story pull you in and take you on a ride you are not prepared for.

    The best review I read, said something like A Serbian Film is a film that you think you really want to see, but trust me you don’t want to see it.

    Should it be banned, no. Should most people see it, no. Will you have trouble sleeping afterwards, yes.

    Some things can’t be unseen.

  5. by all accounts and from the clips, it looks like a an appalling flick, similar to Salo. it has dubious value on any level. the censors were stupid to grant it any kind of rating, but the hype and controversy will ensure many, many more people will seek it out on the streaming sites than would ever have bothered to watch it originally — perhaps the silver lining is that the film-makers of this trash will end up with less money for it.

  6. Apparently, and appallingly, a new-born baby is raped to death in this movie.

    To attempt any artistic justification of such degradation portrayed as art, rather than the sad output of an obviously deeply disturbed director, is to forget what it is to be a compassionate human being.

    The fact that the director played no part in the Balkan wars to which he alludes to being a metaphor for the atrocities in his film, is revelatory.

    • Many things are alluded to in this film but not shown. Personally, I did not interpret the scene that way. Upon reading reviews though I saw that others did interpret it that way.

      What does that say about the person as opposed to the film maker????

    • OH MY GOD.The director should be sent to jail,thats paedophilia and unbelievably sick.THIS FIL SHOULD BE BANNED.There is no art form in the rape of babies.Beyond belief,

  7. Matt, well put.
    I am sick to death of faceless, nameless so-and-so’s telling me what I can and cannot watch. As an adult, in his mid-forties now, I pay my taxes, abide by the law (well, occasionally I speed on the motorway along with everyone else), run a business, pay more taxes, etc, etc, so why the hell am I forbidden to see a film that a bunch of do-gooders think is unsuitable for anyone to view? Are these the same people who allow extremely violent video games to go on sale where nobody cares who is buying or playing them? Come on, they all have warnings and ratings, that is why they exist, so we can make an informed choice. If I don’t like what I see, I simply switch it off and maybe, if I feel strongly enough about it, I will jump on-line and review it, warning others of the possible dangers. BUT – I at least feel that I should have the opportunity to make up my own mind and not have it made up for me by people I don’t even know. It is common place now to see vile murders, autopsies and rape scenes on television at home, even in peak periods (how many CSI and similar programs are there now?), so how serious are these meddling members of the classification board? And just who pays them?
    I feel it is a complete intrusion and an attack on my right to choose.
    Now, how do I get my hands on a copy? I may not like it but I should have the right to find out for myself.

  8. Not having seen the film I’m just so glad that I don’t need to worry now, nor even ever have to think for myself. We should have more people to govern our lives and regulate our thoughts and save us having to actually use our own judgement and take responsibility for ourselves (big smiles).
    Ban everything I say. Then we can maybe start looking at un-banning things and that would save us all a hell of a lot more work (more smiles). OOps! pardon me did I just say “hell”? (Very sorry for that).

    If someone has made a flick and it’s caused this much contraversy then I’d say its probably becasue it’s unearthed things we (some of us) are too afraid to face in ourselves. I want to see things like that becasue it challenges my perception of what I take as reality every day (most of which is far more criminal than many of the art that we so self righteously censor).

    Touchy touchy.
    …Oh how will I ever be able to live with myself once my pure virgin mind has been tarnished with such vile ideas.

    Isn’t this what art is supposed to do OR do we only allow the “pretty” things to be available for public digestion. I’m flabbergasted by the arrogance in choosing to decide what is good for public viewing (“oh the children”). It must be like a Christ complex since it’s OK for those selected few to see a flick but “we’ll have to just take one for the team and watch all this sex & violence and stuff to save their souls”. The plebs just wouldn’t understand it.

  9. First off I will say that I don’t know if I would want to watch this film if I had the opportunity.

    But I will say that I am an adult and I have a problem with big brother telling me what I can or can’t watch, within reason. Yes there are some things that definetly should be banned or at the very least be restricted as to who can watch it. I am sick of someone else telling me that I am not capable of deciding what I am capable of watching.

    I think the thoughtful consenting adults need to accept the responsibility for their actions and not blame a movie for doing something wrong.

  10. When summarising Voltaire’s beliefs on censorship, Evelyn Beatrice Hall said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Sadly, that’s a sentiment that seems to be lacking in several of the commentators here. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  11. I hate film censorship 😦 It’s just ludicrous… especially when the film has been available already. What is the point of that! Adults should be able to decide what to watch. I remember the ridiculous furor over Salo. It was unbanned…and then it was rebanned… stupid…(and yes I saw it when it was unbanned… curiosity and all that!). I just don’t see the point. When you ban something you make people MORE curious about it, not less, and if they can’t get it legally, the guess what, they’ll go online and find it that way!! Think how many more kids will want to see this film because they find out it’s been banned. Really the censorship board should grow a brain…

  12. I don’t believe in censorship either, but a new-born baby raped to death?
    Hitchcock said that it is the implied horror and violence that takes place OFF screen that has more power than anything you can graphically show because human beings will always be able to scare and horrify themselves more – maybe directors need to investigate this as a means of conveying horror instead of turning to b grade graphic images.

    • Well, actually, even in the full uncut version, the newborn rape scene DOES occur off camera, and is implied through blood-curdling sound effects. But the R-rated version that was just banned doesn’t even contain this scene.

      Nobody said this film’s content was pleasant, but it’s working with some powerful, distasteful metaphor to express the kind of deep-seated national pain a country like us will never know or experience. I’m a believer that art exists to illuminate, move, disturb, contemplate and shake us. It may not arrive in forms we like or can even stand, but some people out there would have you believe that it’s only okay to express your artistic vision if it fits their own sanitised version of what this world is. Which is the complete antithesis of artistic expression. And, yes, no matter how disgusting, depraved or otherwise exploitative the content may be, it IS an artistic expression.

  13. Hooray for the censorship board. Too many graphic movies are slipping through the cracks these days. They are harmful, especially if underage kids get hold of them which is quite easy once they are sold as DVD’s. We must preserve the morality of a society already exposed to far to much violence, graphic sex scenes and outrageous foul language……

  14. Janes, have you seen the film? It does happen OFF screen and even then you cannot deduce the baby is being raped but judging by the character’s reaction, it’s not good. You don’t see anything in the AUstralian version. Even in the uncut version, which I have seen, there is very little actual graphic footage.

    Pris, I think you missed the part of the film being for adults only. Kids should not be watching and if they are, then its due to lack of parental responsibility. You see the people who want films banned are those too lazy to actually do some proper parenting.

  15. Ban one porn flick – ban the lot, I say. What did I just say? To me “R” rating should be any movie that cannot be placed in any category and burn those few idiot censors that are telling ME what limits are to imposed upon me? I’d like to know the IQ of each and every censor! That should be fair to help make ones own judgement.

  16. Films not made for mainstream audiences in English should not be made in the first instance. Yes, they are often crap (some would say more often than not). But when was the last one banned? As for whoever thinks you re not forced to watch films… not married, are you sir? lol Who cares. If you want to see it you will find a way to see it, if you don’t you won’t.

    • “Films not made for mainstream audiences in English should not be made in the first instance. Yes, they are often crap (some would say more often than not). But when was the last one banned?”

      I’m really hoping that this is the biggest troll comment of all time. So you’re basically saying (in such a casual ‘what’s wrong with cultural imperialism’ type of way) that other countries who do not speak English should not make films? The origins of cinema as we know it are owed to cinema from around the world – not just from English speaking countries. And the conventions we have in mainstream movies? They weren’t so mainstream to other audiences. Cinema owes its current state (well, the best of anyway) to a constant cyclical culture of experimentation and the avant garde. I’ll take the challenging film that haunts me over watching the Ugly Truth or Battle of LA anyday.

      Your overall message of ‘who cares’ is great; but the English speaking mainstream comment is a whole pit of crazy.

  17. I have zero interest in watching this film. I think it sounds disgusting and horrific, and is the sort of thing I would actively avoid.

    That said, it’s not MY decision whether YOU watch it, nor should it be anyone else’s.

    Censorship is about taking choice away from grown adults – people who have every right to make up their OWN mind. And you know what… I damn well will do so. The internet allows me to download and watch anything I want, bypassing any limitations the government chooses to impose. Like it or not, that’s the reality we now have.

  18. dose the government not no of the internet just because you can no longer buy this more dose not mean you can not download it for free

  19. @Matt Burgess
    @Nathan King

    our government has recruited the CPC Politburo Standing Member Stephen Conroy for this role — he and his members are working hard to ensure we are cleansed of all impure, anti-establishment thoughts…

  20. It’s a bit silly to say “If you don’t like the content, then don’t watch it, because you don’t know if it is totally over the top until you’ve seen some images you may want to forget.
    I am one who thinks that I don’t want to see the expression of a depraved, sadistic and violent mind. And why would you risk the exposure of those who would be permanently scarred by such images? There is a proverb that says “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”, therefore, I wouldn’t want to come across this producer/director in a dark alley at night. Why glorify sadism, sexual depravity and psychopathic leanings?
    Give the stupid film the chop.!!!

    • Greg, it’s not silly at all – here’s why:

      The film is clearly labelled R and additional states why it was rated (EG: Drug use, graphic violence, graphic sex scenes, etc etc.

      Also, anyone looking at the cover, a review, etc would quickly see that it is an intense and extreme film.

      It is then up to that person to make a choice – mmm that sounds like it might be interesting, or – Uggggggh that is definitely not the sort of film I like, not interested at all.

      This is why we have clear ratings and labelling in Australia: so that people can decide for themselves, after being guided by the rating, description and packaging.

      It’s not as if The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is is a lovely cartoon cover that appeals to children and once they get home, they are traumatised for life.

      I would rather shoot myself in the head than sit though a mindless Rom-Com with Jennifer Anniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, etc etc. And, I think it is disgusting that Hollywood pumps out garbage sequels (Transformers 2 and 3 anyone???) that rob you of your $18.

      But – I don’t say “Give the stupid film the chop.!!!” like yourself, I say that those films aren’t for me and I have no interest in them. If someone else wants to watch them. then good luck to them, it won’t effect me in the slightest.

  21. Wether to watch the movie or not, it is a call for each of us to make, we are not children, I absolutely protest having others making decisions for me. I loathe censorship!

  22. There has to be limits with everything in life, and regardless of how ‘artistic’ this film is deemed to be, it well and truly crossed the line of what is acceptable in our society, even on the big screen. Deserves to be banned and should never have been released in the first place.

  23. Some of the comments here seem to indicate that people think that atrocities like what has been described don’t happen in the real world?
    I think that what those who are for cenorship seem to be saying is that “I don’t want to know about things like this” and that’s fine but I think to make everyone else suffer for your personal preferences is unfair to say the least.

    Some people want to know what happens or what a film maker’s interpretation of events may be. Taken seriously or not these interpretations of the things we all try to ignore happen and people will absorb them in different ways.

    Should we not make films about murderers & peodofiles becasue we don’t want to see that kind of thing?
    Will that fix the problems we have or will that sweep the issue under the carpet and simply look better or make you feel as though you are doing what others expect? Let’s ask the experts. Who are they again? Oh of course must be those who tell us what to watch.

    One of the main reasons we create art is to be able to create a powerful way to discuss things or generate discussion of things that are difficult to discuss without directly using words. People can respond with more art or a forum for debate s this is turning out to be. It’s not always going to be something that is easy to accept but shutting it down is only going to hide it leaving those who have to experience such horrors to deal with that issue on their own.

    A good example of a film that explores this (for anyone interested) is the film “Ghost world”. Watch it and see if it makes any sense to you before you start insisting on banning things that will enrich your mind and your life by challenging you to think a little differently to what you are comforatble with.

    The bottom line is that you have a choice. I don’t see how this could be made any clearer and on that basis there should really be no argument. The fact that this is being debated, although a healthy debate, it is quite a worry with so many advocates of censorship.

    In the end the only winner in a world where we cannot speak of things for fear of it being taken out of context or for fear of it being politically incorrect is whom ever is in power …to benefit from the undecisive and un-informed nature of the herd they lead. How can you be informed if the only view being expressed is one that falls in line with what makes you feel good?

    A little off topic but in many ways related …It’s so frustrating watching this national debate on climate change & carbon tax and knowing how many people out there are sucking up all the lies as a given truth …and who knows what the truth is? Who cares? We have things like this movie to worry about and maintaining the status quo and protecting ourselves from things that don’t matter. Nice distraction from what’s actually happening.

  24. If it’s banned, people, in the know, will find a way to download it. Won’t stop anything.

  25. I am a thoughtful adult. I don’t want to see this film. Without ever seeing it portrayed on screen, I am aware of the horrific acts of brutality that occur to children and babies. I do not need to see depravity to know it exists. There is a serious abandonment of moral codes, and those who oppose censorship think they are being denied some sort of freedom. That is just nacissistic crap. We live within society and depend on the laws of this society to protect us and especially our children. If some censorship board decides to ban a film like the one described here, great. And I really couldn’t give a * for the other “thoughful adults” that feel they are being denied some sort of personal freedoms. Maybe you should go and live in Serbia for a year of two and see how much you really have to winge about here.

  26. Thanks for the heads-up earlier. The censors said the magic word. YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO WATCH THIS FILM BECAUSE WE KNOW BETTER! I have just watched the uncut version and it IS disturbing. SO WHAT – that is MY decision to turn it off or continue.

    I found myself being held ’till the end…….

  27. MOVIE BUFF!!! As a responsible parent, I rely on the censorship bodies to help me make a decision on what is suitable for various age’s in my house. There have been times when some scenes have been unsuitable for a particular rating I ‘am glad they have more infomation now ,other than just relying on the genr’e and one or two letters eg: PG or MA Horror, like some scenes may scare young children, and graffic sex scene, etc. With the amount of films and possible red tape to sort through it is possible this film would have been banned in the first place it’s a shame that the censorship board is not national. We are not the only country that banns films, this is not the first time and it won’t be the last.

  28. As a law abiding well adjusted adult male I find it insulting to have someone else decide whether or not a film {any film } is suitable for me to view, I realise the need for any film to be rated but when it gets to the point of being told you cannot view a particular film that is taking away my so called freedom of choice and I strongly object to this.

    Regards,

    S J Williams.

  29. I too, as a responsible parent would teach my children that sometimes you will be hurt and sometimes you will have nightmares, be confused or confronted with images and experiences that will baffle you (mum and dad need to be sure they lock the door when they do their kinky stuff) and sometimes you will have to just get over it if it bothers you instead of feeling sorry for yourself …and sometimes they will need someone else to help them get through life’s pains – maybe a friend or parent. If you push then expect to be pushed back and if you give generously, then you can generally expect to be popular!!

    There are a few other similarly familiar home spun philosophy’s that are shared by many including myself but my point is that they (my children) will learn to protect themselves as well as learn to rely on friends and family for support if they need it. That’s a good balance as long as they have respect for others. Popular? Well yes – it suprised me too but guess what? I think it’s actually true. If you want popularity it’s your choice to be generous and if you don’t want to be popular then you will find a way to make that happen too.

    If you do not want the responsibility to have to figure all that out and how it will affect your children (if you have any) or how you will have to fit into this social structure yourself or “world” then let someone do the thinking for you. That’s your choice too. It’s also my choice to make an unfair comparison here but I think if nothing else it’s amusing to think that this is what barbie does and look at her charming lifestyle. She is rewarded with a “Ken” and a swimming pool. Awsome!! Let’s not forget the billions of cloned replica’s all of which are unique in their own way …or outfit. Man she’s havin’ a party all the time. We too can be just liek her. Is this insulting your intelligence? If not then I’m not doing a very good job. I beleive she has a range of spiffy cars and campervans and somehow we all seem to accept that this is healthy living. Looking into it closely it’s actually quite a strange combination of ideas and really even more strange that she ddecided to attach herself to the colour pink. That’s OK because Barbie didn’t make these decisions for herself …some one else did. They also made a shit load of money from making those decisions for her. Much like the mining industry deciding that we should not be paying a carbon tax. Can’t say that too loud can we becasue we’d be part of the 20% minority who don’t really know what we are talking about. Just as well we don’t have to think about it. Someone else will save us from the famines and disasters that lay ahead that seems to only be understood by scientists who are not paid by large corporations that stand to lose millions of dollars if we start to change our minds about what kind of things we need to look at to prevent disaster. Like maybe stop mining?
    Of course not! that’s just silly isn’t it. They wouldn’t be able to make the prime minister look stupid would they? They don’t have the money to sway the opinions of trusted government officials and Media tycoons. That would be ludicrous to think. Better just stay quiet and not say too much. Just let them decide your future. Don’t behave like a spoiled child and all that jazz.

    I won’t be teaching my kids that if they have a problem they should seek out the nearest agency of thought police to instruct them in what they should do. Instead that they should check all their options before they decide what the best course of action is. This is my guidance to help them learn to utilize their right to make a choice and I will be there to guide them in future if I’m needed when they grow up, provded I don’t get hit by truck or eaten by a crocodile.

    I don’t know if this will work in their favour but it does seem to make a lot of sense to me. What will never make any sense to me is to teach them that if they are told that something is true that they should accept that at face value and just do what they’re told.
    Can you tell I don’t think censorship is needed. There is a problem in community however and I think it’s “fear”. Not sure exactly what you’re afraid of? Me too but there is something there and always something new to remind us not to think about it.

    CHOICE, CHOICE, choice, choice, CHOICE. YOU CAN HAVE CHOICE WITHOUT CENSORSHIP BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE IT WITH CENSORSHIP. THE FAIREST THING IS TO BAN CENSORSHIP AND REPLACE IT WITH TIME TO THINK. IT’S A BIG CALL BUT IT’S NOT THE TAKE AWAY VERSION RESPONSIBILITY EITHER.

  30. Well, I think it should be banned because although it was rated as R18+ and therefore theoretically children or younger teens wouldn’t see the movie, the reality as everyone knows is that there are many parents in Australia that DO NOT give a stuff about what their children do or watch on TV.

    • I agree. Another point that many who oppose censorship seem to be missing is that not all adults are phsycologically stable, but age restrictions do not prevent them from viewing this sort of material. At-risk kids are most likely to be emotionally and phsycoligically vulnerable already, what would you suppose viewing this sort of film do for them?

    • I totally agree. I also think that we should ban cigarettes. Sure, adults can make the choice, but everyone knows that there are many parents in Australia that do not give a stuff. Also, we should ban Alcohol. Yes, we have laws preventing under 18s from buying the stuff, but can we afford to take the risk that they’ll get hold of it? We all know that underaged drinking occurs. Also, pornography of any kind must be banned. Because even though it’s for 18 year olds and over we all know that children can find it or get hold of it if bad parents allow it to be visible.

      Also knives, soda bulbs and paint.

      Also no adult should be allowed to drive. Because children can’t drive.

      Is this getting ridiculous yet? And if so, when? Because for me it got ridiculous a lot earlier than for you.

  31. To be honest, if the film contains some of those terrible things it should be banned. We have enough garbage anyway. Why degrade humanity any further. I am happy censorship still exists.

  32. I understand that there could be irresponsible parents out there – I emphasise
    “could”. I object to people wanting to restrict MY civil liberties because of a “could”. Do you really think that is responsible citizenship? I respect your right to put your argument but I cannot subscribe to it – Cheers.

  33. It’s kind of like deciding to spend the rest of your life indoors for fear of being hit by bus. I think censorship OR banning is just the easy way to deal with something that is a difficult issue to resolve equally for everyone and in the end it could well be the begining of the end for our civl rights as we know them to be.

    You must have a lot faith in the system to let them do that to you. Just because someone wears a suit and has an official document doesn’t mean they are qualified to decide what’s best. Smoke and mirrors is part of every day life for businesses & organizations who want public approval. We are all part of the game but if you play it badly you will lose. Don’t complain about it when it’s too late.

    Sure offer some guidance but don’t decide what I can and can’t do. I can be responsible for myself and we should stop making assumptions about other people and what they could and can’t do for themselves. Other people do not need your help! They need your respect and to let them be responsible for their own decisions.
    For those who are physically or emotionally incapable there will surely be someone to take care of their best interests if they are not capable of making a decision for themselves and more than likely it will be someone who has a better idea about who that person may be… a carer or a parent or a social worker for example. Not a group of people who decide for millions.

    I have no ability to comprehend how anyone can condone this kind of decision.
    It’s rediculous.

  34. It’s clear that to me after reading all of the above that most of you are missing the point. The censorship laws, and the reason why society introduced them in the first place. To live in a civilized society we have in place laws governing everything, from what toys are allowed in the country and if they contain small parts not suitable for children under 3 yrs,or if you drive a car these are the rules you must follow for the safety of others. If you want to buy a gun you must have a gun license and I.D. and you are restricted to what type of gun you can buy eg: no semi-automatics and so on. There are laws on how old you have to be to enter a casino and dress codes eg: no thongs,singlets etc. When you go to school there are dress codes ,acceptable behaviour and what you can bring into the school grounds eg: no guns, knives, porn, peanut products, fish products, etc. If you want to go to the cinema you have to be of age,purchace a ticket, behave in a respectable manner or you may be asked to leave. If we did not have laws society would be unlawful and would not function as we know it.If you want banned food addatives in your food, violent thugs walking freely,no health codes for cooking storing and serving your food,Children watching anything no labels or warnings violent and explicit and graphic images in movies on T.V. mixed in with there cartoons which they can watch while they eat there cereal with sour milk and cockroatch infested wheeties cause we don’t need any big brothers telling us what is available to us and what is suitable and exceptable in our country. I for one am glad we don”t live in this society, those of you whom want no laws or regulations or labels then please feel free to leave Australia I,m sure we like minded citizens can raise a one way fare out of Australian waters. Maybe you and your like minded mates can start your own country and do what ever the hell you want. I for one will be happy to improve on the one we have as I encourage my children to do so. Some one who cares.

  35. A genuine and impartial question to those who oppose the banning or censorship of ‘A Serbian Film’: Where do you draw the line regarding the portrayal of extreme acts, or does a line even exist? Indeed, why *simulate* such acts on screen? Why not have them performed for real? Is it simply because the law of the land forbids it, or is there something else that trumps your right to personal freedom (your own moral compass, perhaps)?

  36. Can we have less hysterics and more common-sense. It seems that this discussion has been hijacked over the ‘baby’ issue. The fact remains that the film WAS banned AFTER that scene was removed – therefore it is a ‘non-issue’. I do not believe that too many anti banning contributors here (if any) have objected to the “baby’ scene being removed. Cheers all.

  37. Jake, your final sentence seems self-contradictory: why would people opposed to censorship of the film not object to the removal of the ‘baby’ sequence?

  38. Of course ‘Stormy’, you are correct but bear in mind that the released version PRIOR to banning did indeed already have the ‘baby’ scene removed. Cheers and thanks for your accurate comment.

    BTW: I have watched the full version and while I have declared that I am on the anti-censor side of the house, I doubt that I would have ever bought a personal copy – not my cup-of-tea!. I only sought it out to view because of the interest as to what the censors based the banning of the edited version.

  39. So many of my friends went out of their way to acquire this film and watch it to see what the fuss was about after it was banned. Bad R18+ movies get ignored and forgotten. Bad banned films get watched and shared. The nanny state is counter-productive in this case.

  40. This is so stupid. This crappy film would have been seen by about 10 Aussies if they didn’t ban it. Now its banned its getting lots of publicity and people will actively seek to watch it!

    Surely we have seen the Streisand effect enough times around Banned films in Australia to know to just keep quite about films the minority dont like.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

    The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.

    ——————————
    Also

    Who are these minority seeking impose their judgements upon the majority. Im so sick of moral zelots trying to tell me what i can and cant do with my own body and mind.

    “Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.” – Frédéric Bastiat

    In a free society (which Australia isn’t – we have no bill of rights) you should be able to do as you please as long as it doesn’t harm any one else (and if you do harm someone else, there are plenty of existing laws to penalize for that).

    Its irrelevant anyway, you can quickly download this film via any BitTorrent site.

    Downloading now from the BTJunkie Website…

    ———

    “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” – Gilmores Law

  41. Finally, some sense by the classfication board. We don’t want films like that in Australia. We don’t want anyone watching them. These movies are sick and the people who enjoy them are sick. Great decision. Keep up the good work.

    • Who are “we” and exactly what is precisely the content “we” don’t want the adult world-at-large to be watching? Or is just the entire film!

    • . I watched this movie because of all the hype that it generated and wanted to see if it was as bad as everyone said it was. Some of the stuff i have seen on South Park could be considered worse than this movie

  42. I have n to seen this movie and from what i read NEVER will how many of these rubbish movies are going to be made!! I am glad it is banned there is already so much horror in this world and movie makers constantly want to fill people with more horror!! Yes consenting adults want to watch these type of movies but what does that say about the kind of people they are to watch someone else go through horrors just like the Saw movies what is wrong with people to want to watch it!! People who are already on the edge can be pushed over b y watching such garbage and everyone wonders why the world is in such a mess just keep pumping in the garbage!!!

  43. Who are “we” and exactly what is precisely the content “we” don’t want the adult world-at-large to be watching? Or is just the entire film!

  44. Stuff the OFLC / Classfiication.gov.au – Just downloaded it at my own discretion and to view when I want as an adult. I choose what I wish to watch, not be dictated too by a bunch of unelected dictators making Australia the nanny state. Stuff you all.

  45. ” it features nothing that would harm or permanently disturb a consenting, thoughtful, adult movie-watcher”

    I’m sorry but I just watched the uncut version and I am a huge horror fan, I watch alot of extreme movies, yet this was the only movie that has ever made me physically ill. I was physically sick for an hour after watching this. I’m a consenting, thoughtful, adult movie watched and I do think this contains images and ideas that are harmful and disturbing

  46. and one more point… even if this is rated 18+, everyone knows children/teenagers get a hold of things like this, you have to be 18 to smoke cigarettes but does that stop teenagers? NO. would you really want your child getting a hold of this movie? I certainly wouldn’t

  47. I’m going to watch this now, simply because it’s banned. It’ll probably suck and I’ll probably only watch half of it, but such is the power of being told “you can’t do this”. It’s the same anytime I see those signs near houses “Please minimize noise” I always feel compelled to honk the horn.

    The silliness is, of course, that if it hadn’t been banned I probably never would have heard about it and not seen it. As Insane Clown Posse said:

    “Lordy Lordy we got a protest that
    Some rock and roll ninja bit the head off a bat
    Let’s march in his concert and chant him to hell
    Cuz he’s so fu**in TERRIBLE!
    Mean while his record sells double and triple
    Cuz of YOU writing bout him rubbin his nipple
    Religious? S**t, you helped them bands
    Instead of helpin them poor people
    Eatin outta them garbage cans
    When your done with that b**ch come protest me
    S**t motha fu**a I could use the money”

  48. PS.
    @Belle.
    Yes those kids and teens could get access to a physical DVD that’s R18+, but those same kids are incompetent with the ways of the internet and could NEVER EVER find it to download.

    /sarcasm.

  49. well of course they could find it on the internet I didn’t say they wouldn’t, but doesn’t mean you make the dvd for kids to make it easier for them does it?

  50. We will be opening our online store soon for A SERBIAN FILM MERCHANDISE and DVD

    We’ll be posting the store location soon on our facebook page

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Serbian-Film-DVD/271785642856337

  51. I have just finished watching this film (uncut) and Im just being the devils advocate here but isn’t child pornography illegal? I mean I have see often on the news where people whom have used the Internet for child pornography have been arrested etc. What makes this any different? Simply because this is an “arthouse” film? Pushing the boundaries and all that.

    I agree that we should be given the freedom of choice but for myself personally I do think the violence was out of proportion with the context.

    • Hi there Krisrty, I agree with your last sentence but that is how the author intended it to be. I didn’t really enjoy the movie either. What seems to have escaped many people; “IT IS ONLY AN ILLUSION” (as films are) of a fictitious story. A MOVIE. A MAKE BELIEVE. A VEHICLE PRESENTED TO INTENTIONALLY SHOCK (a fact that was never hidden) yet how many people went to quite some trouble (since it is banned in Oz) to obtain an illegal copy -then- complain about the content. Bloody amazing since they knew it would be unpleasant. I find it hard to understand their incomprehensible grasp of reality!!! Cheers.

      BTW; It is not child pornography.

  52. hello if all r18+ films get banned then we cant watch TrueBlood

  53. i haven’t seen this film but the mere fact that is banned actually makes me want to watch it just to see why it was banned in the first place… I am very capeable of making my own decisions as to wether or not i should or can watch the film regardless if some uptight pole up the arse burocrate thinks that this film isn’t appropriate to watch by anyone.
    And to ban all R18+ films is just plain ridiculous simply because they may offend others? if thats the case then you may as well ban tv shows like trueblood, and the L word becaue it may offend other people. The L word was taken of australian telivision because the homophobes of this country had a hissy fit. Get real people these sort of things happen in the world and just because the film industry makes films about these issues i don’t belive the films should be banned, we should be allowed to make up our own minds as to watch this particular film or not.

  54. I’m 32 years old! What gives some person who I’ve never even met the damn right to decide what I can or cannot view!

    The banning of this and/or any other film — or even censorsed versions — is dead-set fascism!

    I thought we lived in a democracy … obviously not.

  55. I’ve always been a horror fan and enjoy deconstructing complex films, being able to think back and all the little details click into place to support the overall incentive of the film. This is by far the most graphic, explicit and confronting film I have ever watched. Not so much from the gore involved but from the confronting scenarios which can be so gut-churning you don’t know whether to vomit or even continue watching yet you do because you of course want to see where the director is trying to lead you and to justify the film in the end. After watching this movie my mind was more tangled up in the images I’d seen but after you think back on the film, bearing in mind the director’s motive to give a metaphorical depiction of Serbia, as a country’s struggle and oppression, you can see the way these have been conveyed in the film. I believe a film or literature critic with a strong stomach who can bare to deconstruct this film would enjoy its fuller meaning and impact, but for those who can’t view the real world in all it’s bare honesty then I think most of that population will struggle to accept this film as being a masterpiece in it’s own right – as grotesquely as it has indeed been conveyed. More than anything, for the common horror fan, if you thought Human Centipede was full on – this film craps all over it and will by far rank at the top of your list, but you may be ashamed to suggest it to anyone else considering its content. As a matter of government decision making, to some extent I believe people should be granted the right to access and view this film should they wish, though I do understand the backlask which could be waiting for them should many of the populace see this as a sick and twisted snuff film rather than the metaphorical depiction that it is.

  56. I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit this blog on regular basis to obtain updated from latest news update.

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  1. On censorship and ‘A Serbian Film’ - September 22, 2011

    […] RichOnFilm Banned, Allowed, Banned Again: A Serbian Film in Australia, That Guy with the Glasses A Serbian Film banned in Australia; recalled from all vendors, Quickflix Blog Filed Under: Blog Tagged With: a serbian film, accent films, censorship, […]

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