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Tuesday, 11 December 1973
Page: 2622

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON -Has the Minister for Customs and Excise seen a report which relates to a film which has just been released and which carries an 'M' classification? I do not want to name the film at this point of time unless I have to because I think this would only give publicity to it. However, I point out that it has been described in the Press as being so horrific in its portrayal of brutality that it would not appeal to even an adult audience. The film now has an 'M' classification which means that children may go to see it. If the Minister has not seen the reference, I would like to give it to him later so that he can have regard to whether he should ask for the classification to be reviewed with a view to having it changed, if this were thought proper on reflection, to an 'R' classification, for some deletions to be made from the film or for it to be prohibited completely. The description of the film I have read states that it is one of those films which could revolt even an adult audience. As we are now coming into the holiday period when many parents take their kiddies to see films, I ask whether the classification of the film should not be reviewed?

Senator MURPHY -I regret that I am not aware of the film to which Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson refers. If he will supply the reference, I will certainly look into it, and do so promptly. A great deal of concern is being felt not only by the censorship authorities but also by others about the possible relationship between violence in films and violent behaviour. A good deal of work is being done in this area. I am encouraging further work. In any event, there seems to be some indication that violence portrayed in films may be related to violent behaviour, and this may apply to very young children. But I will look into the matter promptly in the context that the honourable senator has raised it, namely, that of the forthcoming holidays.

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