Movie Censorship Research Paper

The need for censorship in the film industry sprang up immediately when the audience hungry for spectacles fell under the influence of movies. Even in those times when pictures were silent, the action itself could make much more of an impression than words. So soon after the first movie was shown the worldwide organizations controlling the content and distribution of films began to appear. However, determining what is “good” and what is “bad” came to be quite difficult for both the most ardent and for the most liberal censors.

Today in European countries such as UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands, a similar model of Film Classification operates. For example, in the UK British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is responsible for the movies certification, in France it is the National Center for Cinematography (CNC), in Germany – The German Movie Control Association, and in the Netherlands it is the National Institute of the Classification of Audiovisual Sphere (NICAM).

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In the U.S., movie censorship is a prerogative of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Nevertheless, today the Code and Rating Administration, operating at MPAA, does not censor the movies, but assigns them a special “code.” Even back in 1968, the MPAA brought the so-called formula of evaluating the content of the movie, which is based on the definition of impact forces on the video viewer, such as the presence of violence, sex scenes, and much more. Each film corresponds to a rating system, going into one of the categories, namely G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17 (formerly X).

In particular, G (general) refers to a movie without limitation (rental category recommended by the MPAA). PG (parental guidance) means that it is desirable for children to watch the film in the presence of adults and a warning that the content of the film may be somewhat inappropriate for children.

Rating PG- 13 suggests that children under 13 years are admitted to the film accompanied by an adult. R (restricted) is a rental category, where children under 17 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian (age varies in some regions.) NC-17 (no child) prohibits the viewing of the film for those who has not achieved the age of 17 (such a movie very often includes violence or sex).

To determine the rating of each individual movie, the MPAA creates a special commission that watches the movie. After review and discussion, the vote takes place, during which a rating is assigned. In case of disagreement with the decision of the commission, the producers or the director of the film may appeal to re-elect the Commission. As a result, filmmakers make their own decision: to delete the scenes, to shoot them all over again to suit the demands for desirable rating or agree with the Commission’s decision.

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