GOOD

The Interview and 3 Other Films Too Controversial To Release

Hollywood’s is a history rife with offensive films, political controversy and reactionary self-censorship.

The world reacted with great sorrow and regret today as Sony Pictures announced it would be cancelling all screenings of The Interview, the clever, sophisticated political comedy about how James Franco and Seth Rogan attempt to assassinate North Korean president Kim Jong-un. Cinephiles are surely weeping over this great loss to the American film canon. Franco and Rogen will have to find some way to console themselves over this agonizing blow to their artistic repertoire, perhaps by rolling around in the piles and piles of money they will make from the movie anyway.

If there are worries this might have a chilling effect on future film production, they’ve been justified. It looks like another North Korean-related film project, this one starring Steve Carell, has been tabled indefinitely. Still, this isn’t the first time a film project has been shut down over concerns about its contents. Hollywood’s is a history rife with offensive films, political controversy and reactionary self-censorship. Here are three films that were too contentious to be screened:


Alfred Hitchcock’s Memory of the Camps

The footage collected for Hitchcock’s legendary Holocaust documentary was reportedly so gruesome and horrifying it left the filmmaker “traumatized”. It was originally concieved as a joint production by the British and American governments, who intended to use it to broadcast the atrocities committed by the Nazis. But it took so long to finish that they eventually put a kibosh on the whole thing, fearful that its contents would hinder reconstruction and reconciliation in post-war Germany. The footage was collecting dust at the Imperial War Museum for more than 40 years before it was rediscovered.

Walt Disney’s Song of the South

Racist tropes and stereotypes pervade many of Disney’s older films, but one film was so offensive it was locked away, unseen, for a couple of decades. Song of the South depicted, according to Slate, “Uncle Remus and his fellow smilin’, Massah-servin’ black folk”. Although the film premiered in Atlanta (where James Baskett, who plays Uncle Remus, reportedly couldn’t attend because of segregation laws), Disney never released it on home video in the United States, fearing the backlash it would create.

Keith Allens’s Unlawful Killing

This documentary about the death of Princess Diana, her partner Dodi Fayed offers up a sensational investigation into the car crash that killed them. Financed by Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, the film trades on all kinds of salacious rumors about the royal family and slings a number of accusations at them, including one that implicates them in a cover-up of Diana’s death. Although the film premiered at Cannes, it was denied certification to screen in the U.K. and could not find a U.S. distributor. Lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic said the film carried too much risk.

Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics