One of the year's
most acclaimed films is queer director Gregg Araki's
adaptation of Scott Heim's Mysterious Skin, but the
pedophilia story line is causing some Australian activists
to call for a ban of the film before it opens there in
August. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the
film, which has already received a strict R18+ rating, has
had an application filed against it that would ban it from
theatrical release. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet
play two teenagers who were molested as children by their
The Morning Herald reports that federal
attorney general Philip Ruddock is pursuing the film's
reclassification after being contacted by South Australian
attorney general Michael Atkinson, who, it is believed, has
been lobbied by right-wing activist groups the Australian
Family Association and the Festival of Light. AFA spokesman
Richard Egan said, "Being able to get hold legally of a DVD
where they can play the scene over and over again, showing
the adult baseball coach fellating an 8-year-old boy...could
prove very helpful to some pedophiles." Margaret Pomeranz,
president of the lobby group Watch on Censorship, disagrees.
"This is a film about the damage that pedophilia creates.
It's been so carefully filmed, the impact is on the
audience.... Pedophiles could watch this film and be
stricken by remorse. It could be a pedophile-curing film
because they're confronted by the damage they do."
Australia's Office of Film and Literature
Classification, in giving Mysterious Skin the R18+
rating, described the film as "a serious and legitimate
exploration of a disturbing and confronting theme. The film
takes the victims' viewpoint and presents the dark and bleak
nature of the abuse to which they are subjected and the
resulting impact on their lives."