An ancient law from 1913 has finally been abolished in Italy.
Imagine living in a country that wouldn't even show your films. That's what happened to Pier Paolo Pasolini with Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom and Bernardo Bertolucci with Last Tango in Paris.
According to a survey by Cinecensura, 274 Italian films, 130 American movies, and 321 pictures from other countries have been banned in Italy since 1944, and more than 10,000 have been forced to cut scenes.
While censorship has not happened recently, Italy has finally purged a law from the books, removing “the system of controls and interventions that still allowed the Italian state to intervene on the freedom of artists,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.
The last case of censorship came in 1998, with Toto Who Lived Twice, by Sicilian duo Daniele Ciprì and Franco Maresco. It had zoophilia, rape, sodomy, and religious references in its storyline, and upset the nation's Catholics.
“It’s an epochal change that the industry was strongly pushing for and will usher in self-regulation,” said 01 Distribution chief Luigi Lonigro, who is head of Italy’s distributors, in a statement.
With those draconian items removed, they are introducing a new rating system. Every film will be in a quadrant like "over-14" (or aged 12+ if accompanied by a parent) and “over 18” (or 16+ accompanied by adults).
So go rent Salò and have yourself a weekend.