The Minister of Culture has announced the introduction of a new film classification system under the Cinema Law.
“We have abolished film censorship and definitively surpassed that system of controls and interventions that still allowed the State to intervene on the freedom of artists,” declared Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini in signing the decree establishing the Commission for the classification of cinematographic works at the General Directorate for Cinema of the Ministry of Culture with the task of verifying the correct classification of cinematographic works by operators.
An intervention under the Cinema Law that introduces the classification system and definitively overcomes the possibility of censoring cinematographic works. There is no longer an absolute ban on theatrical release or release conditioned by cuts or changes. The Commission is chaired by the President Emeritus of the Council of State, Alessandro Pajno, and is composed of 49 members chosen among experts of proven professionalism and competence in the film sector and in pedagogical-educational aspects related to the protection of minors or in social communication, as well as designated by parents’ associations and animal protection associations.
The prosecution of Ultimo Tango a Parigi in 1976 (in spite of Bertolucci’s appeal to the then President of the Republic, Leone, with the concession to save only three copies in custody at the Cineteca Nazionale as ‘body of the crime’) is the most striking historical event but certainly not the only one. Italian cinema can count plenty of cases of censorship, including the most recent ‘Totò che visse due volte’ by Ciprì and Maresco in 1998.
At CineCensura the permanent exhibition promoted by the General Directorate for Cinema of the Ministry of Culture and organised by the Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia and the Cineteca Nazionale brings together material from 300 feature films and 80 newsreels, as well as 100 advertisements and short films, 28 censored posters and cut footage.