(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Friday, July 04, 2003
Screening banned Ken Park gets Margaret Pomeranz arrested!

The ABC's news site reports that Margaret Pomeranz, film critic and co-presenter of SBS's The Movie Show was arrested at in Sydney Thursday night at an attempted screening of the banned film Ken Park:
The film reviewer, Margaret Pomeranz, has been taken into police custody tonight after a failed attempt to screen the banned sexually explicit American film, Ken Park in Sydney. Police moved in to halt the screening at Balmain Town Hall moments after Ms Pomeranz and a number of other anti-censorship activists pressed the play button on a DVD player.
Good on you Margaret for standing up for freedom of artistic expression in this country of ours! Good on the 300 odd people who turned up to see the film, too! And a continual shame on the office of Film Censorship (Office of Film and Literature Classification) for the this pathetic ruling and even more pathetic use of police force to prevent this screening.

Oddly, The Australian also ran an online story on Margaret's arrest but claimed that she had only been cautioned. Hmmm.

Update (Friday, 9.15am):
Lynden Barber's article in the print version of The Australian, and online, concedes that Margaret was, in fact, arrested. Margaret & David Stratton's quotes:
Pomeranz said she was "disappointed" with the police action and felt she had not "achieved anything tonight. I feel I've let down everybody". [...] After last night's aborted screening, Pomeranz's SBS colleague, David Stratton, a former director of the Sydney Film Festival, told the crowd: "It's a tragedy that it's come to this."
In happier news, The Australia also reported that a Melbourne group successfully screened Ken Park on Tuesday night.

The Age also ran a story today on the attempted Sydney screening, and quoted David Stratton extensively:
It's sad that we in this country today have got to a stage where adults can't choose whether or not to see a film like this, and also that we are misled [by the Office of Film and Literature Classification] about the contents of it.

If you feel strongly about this issue, please leave a comment here. Also, for a much wider audience, email your opinion to The Australian's Arts Editor Rosemary Neill at <arts@theaustralian.com.au>.


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