With the power to tell stories, also comes the burden of bearing reactions of a vast degree of audience spread throughout the planet. With such a large scale of judgement, it’s only natural that some of these cinematic statements end up getting banned in some part of the world or the other.
While the makers of such films fight for their release, the Internet provides innumerable outlets to the world to access these movies, even in countries where these movies have long been banned.
Today, we’re talking about such immensely popular movies that faced the wrath of censorship in various countries. No, this list is not going to include their torrent links.
1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Where was it banned: Britain
Why was it banned: Some acts of violence coincided with the release of the film in Britain which did not go down too well with the British authorities resulting in banning of this brilliant but bold piece of art.
2. All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)
Where was it banned: Nazi Germany
Why was it banned: The film depicted a realistic and harrowing account of the horrors of war. Despite drawing immense appreciation from the world around, the Nazi Party in Germany saw this film as a threat to their ongoing affairs.
3. Battleship Potempkin (1925)
Where was it banned: Nazi Germany, United States, France and the United Kingdom.
Why was it banned: Eisenstein’s attempt to evoke sympathy for the rebellious soldiers of Battleship Potempkin and hatred for their overlords earned it the reputation of being a piece of “revolutionary propaganda”.
4. Last Tango In Paris (1972)
Where was it banned: Italy and Chile.
Why was it banned: For its graphic portrayal of a sexual relationship. In the US, a disgruntled mob of 200 residents barred the theaters from public access while shouting “perverts” and “homos” at the attendees. Director Bernardo Bertolucci was famously sentenced to 5 months in prison for the “butter scene”.
5. Life of Brian (1979)
Where was it banned: Ireland, Norway and parts of Britain. Funnily, the film’s posters in Sweden read “So funny, it was banned in Norway!”
Why was it banned: The movie was called blasphemous for its biblical satire.
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Where was it banned: Britain, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and West Germany.
Why was it banned: For being disturbingly gory and gruesome for a cinematic experience.
7. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
Where was it banned: Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vatican City and Vietnam.
Why was it banned: For “pervasive vulgar language and crude sexual humor, and for some violent images”.
8. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
9. The Last Temptation of Christ (1989)
Where was it banned: Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, Philippines, Singapore and a partial ban in the US.
Why was it banned: For depicting Jesus Christ as a human with temptations and hurting the sentiments of some Christian groups.
10. Borat (2006)
Where was it banned: Russia and the entire Middle-East except Lebanon.
Why was it banned: The censors in the Middle East called it “vile, gross and extremely ridiculous”.
11. Persepolis (2007)
Where was it banned: Lebanon
Why was it banned: The film was banned after some clerics found it to be “offensive to Iran and Islam”.
12. Zack & Miri Make A Porno (2008)
Where was it banned: Trinidad and Tobago, Malaysia and Thailand. Incidentally, the film was also banned in Utah in the US, the same week when Saw V released without any obstruction.
Why was it banned: The censors were worried that the teenagers would get influenced by the film and try to make their own porn movies.
13. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Where was it banned: South Korea.
Why was it banned: For making war “look bad”.
14. The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Where was it banned: Burma.
Why was it banned: For superstitious reasons as yellow and red are unlucky colors in Burma.
15. The Hunger Games (2012)
Where was it banned: Vietnam.
Why was it banned: For showing too many deaths.
16. Back To The Future (1985)
Where was it banned: China, since 2011
Why was it banned: For superficial depiction of significant historical events.
17. King Kong (1933)
Where was it banned: Finland
Why was it banned: Because the authorities felt the special effects were too real and horrifying for public viewing.