What DOES it take for a film to get banned these days?

As censors approve a movie that plumbs grotesque new depths of sexual explicitness and violence, one critic (who prides himself on being broad-minded) despairs...

Grotesque: Lars von Trier's latest film Antichrist has been given an 18 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification

Grotesque: Lars von Trier's Antichrist has been given an 18 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification

A film which plumbs new depths of sexual explicitness, excruciating violence and degradation has just been passed as fit for general consumption by the British Board of Film Classification.

They have given the film an 18 certificate. As we all know, this is meaningless nowadays in the age of the DVD because sooner or later, thanks to the gross irresponsibility of some parents, any film that is given general release will be seen by children.

You do not need to see Lars von Trier's Antichrist (which is released later this week) to know how revolting it is.

I haven't seen it myself, nor shall I - and I speak as a broad-minded arts critic, strongly libertarian in tendency. But merely reading about Antichrist is stomach-turning, and enough to form a judgment.

As Ernest Hemingway said of obscenity in a justifiably disgusting image, you don't need to eat a whole bowl of scabs to know they're scabs.

Here is the 'plot' of Antichrist, with apologies in advance. But since this is coming to a cinema near you soon - and then a DVD, a website and a late-night TV channel - you might want know about it.

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