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I find part of the problem with censorship here in Ontario, Canada is
the inconsistancy of both rules and enforcement.  We have a number of
films which are banned in the province, WR - Mysteries of the Organism
for example, which we use in teaching.  The Ministry of Consumer and
Corporate Affairs, Theatres Branch, Film Review Committee (the Ontario
Censor) has given us permission to use them in "teaching situations" but
we can't use show them to the public.  The theory being that in a
"teaching situation" the films are not exploitive etc because of the
presence and guidance of the teacher, while a public screening has no
such analysis.  In the case of the Trent University problem, if the
Razutis film had been restricted to the classroom there would have been
no problem, its the act of showing it to the public that caused the
charges to be laid.  Unfortunately even if a film has been cleared by the
censor, the Crown Attorney or the police still can lay obscenity charges
and most people charged "voluntarily" stop showing the film rather than
go through the hassles of defending their rights.
 
As to students complaining about being "forced" to watch unpleasant films
in the classroom, I suggest they get a portion of their fee for the class
returned and be kicked out.  They are obviously not capable of meeting
the intellectual requirements for a university education and should
vacate a place for someone who is there to learn.  We had a situation
here where one of our professors wanted to generate a discussion on
gender relations and stereotyping.  We chose a film that showed woman as
object, Fugue In D Minor, specifically because it would offend.  The
film was introduced in the context of the class and discussed afterwards.
When we do have problems, there very frequently tends to be either an
ignorance of what learning is about or a hidden agenda that relies on the
publicity generated.  Education is not served by the "duck and cover"
mentality shown by too many administrators and academics.  This is not
new, despite the rhetoric the paycheck comes before academic freedom
in more cases than not.  Show Marco Leto's Black Holiday.  Be intolerant
of intolerance.
 
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Mark Ritchie                   | Tel: (519) 888-4070
Media Librarian                | Fax: (519) 888-6197
Audio-Visual Centre            |
University of Waterloo         | Internet: [log in to unmask]
 
"I was just out of college and still believed in
classifications and catagories" -  Jean Renoir
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