With Your Host Stevie Wayne
---Director Angel Sala And The Sitges Festival Charged With Exhibition Of Child Pornography For Screening A Serbian Film - Some seriously disturbing news came outta Barcelona today with word that the Sitges Film Festival - one of the largest, oldest, distinguished and most respected genre film events in the world - and the festival's director Angel Sala have been charged with the exhibition of child pornography in relation to a screening of A Serbian Film, a horrific masterpiece, at the 2010 edition of the festival.
Lets not mince words, A Serbian Film (aka Српски филм / Srpski film) is cinema at it's most extreme. It's a thoroughly shocking film. However, it's designed to be just that, a movie that ruffles feathers and gets under people's skin. It was made to raise people's tempers and get them talking and asking questions. Is it art? Is it socially relevant? Is it shock value for the sake of shock value? We here at The October Country think the answers would be yes, yes, and sorta. But child pornography? That is absolutely knee-jerk, reactionary rubbish of the highest order. The scene that tends to be cited of the offending "crime" is depicted entirely off screen, with it's sexual violence implied rather than depicted. Plus (and I'm not entirely 100% certain about this) I think it's safe to assume that the infant portrayed in the aforementioned scene is fake. Yep, good 'ol foam and latex. Accusing somebody of filming child pornography with such a prop would be like calling Tom Savini the ringleader of a successful snuff film circuit. We can only hope that the courts recognize this erroneous judgment and throw the case out.
Apparently, there have been murmurs that something was coming down the line after subsequent screenings of A Serbian Film were banned throughout Spain but charging Sitges and Angel Sala with exhibiting child pornography is beyond the pale excessive. The festival, and Sala, could be facing serious jail time and / or hefty fines if convicted. We think it's time for everybody to sit back, take a deep breath and allow reason and common sense to take hold of their rash, exaggerated response.
According to Spanish Website El Pais, Sitges festival director Angel Sala has been formally charged with the exhibition of "child pornography" in connection with the October 2010 screening of the film in Spain.
As translated: "The prosecution accuses the Board of a crime of child pornography display to allow the screening of the film, in which there are two images that allegedly transgress the law: the violation of a newborn baby and a sex with a child of five.
"The prosecution believes that Hall was able to commit a crime under article 189.7 of the Penal Code, punishable by three months to one year imprisonment or a fine on anyone who 'produces, sells, distributes, exhibited to or facilitate by any means pornographic material which not having been used directly minors or incompetent, his voice is used or modified or altered image,' " the site adds. You can click here to read the article in its entirety.
Additionally John Squires over at the awesome Freddy In Space has more, including information on how you can lend your voice to combating this frightening, ridiculous indulgence in censorship.
This has been a K & B Radio news bulletin. We now return to our regularly scheduled broadcast.