Monday, July 20, 2009

Censorship and the Arts

British filmmaker Ken Loach has pulled his pic "Looking for Eric" from the Melbourne Intl. Film Festival as he did from the Edinburgh Film Festival saying he could not support an event that has accepted funding from the state of Israel. OK, self censorship falls more in the domain of freedom of speech must an art events cater to politics?

Last week, Chinese officials in Melbourne also tried to cancel the world premiere of the Australian documentary regarding the plight of ethic minority Uighurs in China, "The 10 Conditions of Love".

The festival director Richard Moore told the media that MIFF is an independent arts forum for different perspectives and it would not bend to political pressure. "The 10 Conditions of Love" has sold out and an additional session has been scheduled.

Parenthetically, film is under seige from other quarters as well. The Irish Film Board may loose its funding in the face of the financial crises and the Italians are protesting cuts in their funding by their government as well.

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