Between 1993 and 1998, Salo was classified R18+ in Australia. You could see it in select cinemas. Before that it had been banned since 1976, and in 1998 the QLD Attorney General saw to it that be banned once again.
Fast forward 10 years and nothing has changed. Shock’s submission to have the upcoming Criterion Special Edition of Salo released on DVD was turned down by the Classification Board last week.
‘It is not short of the mark to say that this has probably become the most controversial film ever for the Australian censors. Over the years, its release, and subsequent re-banning has been so politicised that it is difficult to see how the Classification Board could view it objectively. Make no mistake; in 2008 this should be an R18+ film. The British film censors are still more conservative than the OFLC, yet they passed SALO with an 18 certificate several years ago.’
‘Apart from I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, we can think of no other title that has had quite as many Australian censorship problems. Saying that, even ISOYG, has been passed uncut since 2004.’
It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when even New Zealand allows Salo to be viewed by adults. That means something when you consider our neighbours once said Power Rangers was too violent. What makes Australian eyes so precious and in need of Government intervention?
If Salo is such a problem and a risk to the population, shouldn’t we be a little more concerned that Kiwis are only a two hour flight away? Maybe it’s time we introduced a ‘Have you watched Salo’ question on the Visitor Entry Card?
I’ll leave you with Terry Lane’s comments from the Sunday Mail in ’98:
‘The re-banning of ‘Salo’ marks a regression into the infantilism and paternalism of the past. One small bunch of unrepresentative people will determine what other adults may see, read or hear. This is an intolerable affront to civil liberties. As an autonomous moral being I do not concede to others the right to determine what I will watch.’
R-C have an exhaustive history of Salo in Australia here.