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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Film Censorship

Background, courtesy of a friend: "The Art Museum was scheduled to present showings of Bad Education, a Spanish-language movie by acclaimed director Pedro Almodovar, whose past works include the Oscar-winning Talk to Her and All About My Mother. Bad Education made many critics' best-of-2004 lists, but it is rated NC-17, and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art made an 11th-hour decision to pull the plug on showing it -- the movie was to start showing on March 24 -- for fear of potentially losing donations."
Emailed to: Ms. Carolyn Hill, Museum Director, Oklahoma City Museum of Art Ms. Hill, I understand that you have recently decided to prevent the showing and viewing of a respected film due to the rating of the Motion Picture Association. With respect, I would ask that you seriously reconsider this decision. I would suggest that decisions of this nature will not lead to a growth of the film program at MOA, and this decision does little to stimulate the intellectual life of Oklahoma City. While this issue is most starkly seen when applied to Peter Almodovar's respected work, it is an issue that must redound to other works. In transcending the immediate concern for Mr. Almodovar's Bad Education, one sees a time where only the most innocuous issues can be addressed in films presented at the MOA theater. The recent Oscar-winning film The Sea Within, offers us a case in point. Anyone who takes exception to Mr. Almodovar's fine work would need to consider taking exception to a wide range of films of all sorts. In time, one would expect little of note or merit to be shown on the screen at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. I hope for more for my city and, one day, for my son. Furthermore, I would suggest that the Motion Picture Association rating system should not be used as a benchmark of tolerance or a limit to the inquisitive human imagination. It is a better tool for parents in managing the upbringing of their children. Even in this matter it falls short of the mark, for there is little that the MPA or MPAA has to say about films that I find sufficient in choosing material for my son. I find it even less significant in determining the quality of material I would choose for the intellectual stimulation of my community. In the interest of the future of our museum and our city, please reconsider your decision to limit the legitimate choices made by your film curator. Sincerely, LiteraryTech

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