Italy has officially abolished film censorship, scrapping government legislation that has been in place since 1913.
Said legislation has allowed the government to censor scenes and ban movies such as Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom” and Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris”.
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced the new decree ending the government’s powers to censor cinema and does away with “the system of controls and interventions that still allowed the Italian state to intervene on the freedom of artists.”
Under the new decree, film distributors will self-classify their own movies based on existing audience age brackets such as “over-14” (or aged 12+ if accompanied by an adult) and “over 18” (or 16+ accompanied by an adult).
Then a new commission of film industry figures, as well as education experts and animal rights activists, will review the film’s classification. This effectively allows the film industry to self-regulate its own ratings.
In Italy, censorship has been de-facto no longer practised for a while. Even so, this action is seen as symbolically important and will impact over 700 films from all over the world that have been banned locally for religious, moral and political reasons since 1944.
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