You can’t keep a controversial film down: Salo, which has generated acres of newsprint through being banned, unbanned, banned again and now unbanned again, is back again, with Liberal Senator Julian McGauran leading the charge to have the recent Classification Board decision to allow a new DVD of the film overturned.

McGauran has been campaigning for the banning of Salo since the early 1990s and in April demanded the sacking of Classification Board chairman Donald McDonald for the decision.  The film was “a paedophiles treat. It is a hand book for deviants and could trigger crazed minds,” McGauran said.

Tasmanian senator Guy Barnett is supporting McGauran, along with the Australian Christian Lobby, Fairfax’s Ari Sharp reported this morning. The ACL presumably have no problems with some of Pasolini’s other work, like The Gospel According to St Matthew.

There’s a slight problem with rebanning DVDs of Salo.

If you want to buy the DVD of Salo you’d have to get up and go buy it, or at least order it online and wait a week or two. Much easier to simply to download the movie using a Bittorrent client. Try here. It’s a popular download and there are plenty of seeders for a number of versions. You can even get the deluxe Blu-ray edition if you want to watch all the depravity in High Definition. You don’t even have to get out of your chair.

Or you can watch it on Youtube, where there’s not even any question of illegally downloading the film.

For that matter, if you want to see other films banned in Australia like Baise-Moi, Bittorrent is your friend as well. Ditto Ken Park. You can watch them on Youtube as well.

All banned here, all far more easily available than bothering to go and buy the DVD. Indeed, the only effect of the ban is to encourage illegal downloading.

The ACL’s Lyle Shelton told Crikey “…you can’t throw out all the laws just because they can be circumvented — it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be in place. It’s the same thing with murder — just because people are murdered doesn’t mean you throw out the murder laws.”

He said the ACL backed anything that would “enforce the laws of the parliament” in relation to blocking access to such material.

Julian McGauran told Crikey the point of the ban was “to stop the full length movie that exploits minors. The movie is a paedophile’s treat.” He supported a filter to stop downloads of films that have been banned in Australia “if one were possible.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey