A quick look into the Swedish censorship laws, from the early days of film up until 2011 when the laws changed completely.
Few Swedish documentaries interest me but since this one deals with something as close to me as film and censorship, I figured it would be worth a watch. Especially now that I've lately went through some forgotten Swedish cult classics. It's impossible as a film fan in Sweden to not have heard about this documentary simply because it was about censorship, and then later became censored itself. It aired on TV, and then it was gonna be available online for streaming, but they decided to air it two more times instead and keep it away from streaming because kids could watch it. That irony made a few headlines and it was talked about. And it was when I talked to Rickard Gramfors of Klubb Super 8 about that I decided to look it up.
It quickly goes through the different eras and what was cut at the time. It has a short runtime which is why everything flows by so quickly. It features such films as "Trädgårdsmästaren" (the first ever Swedish film to be banned here, directed by legendary director Victor Sjöström), "Sökarna", "Thriller - A Cruel Picture", "Exponerad", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Cape Fear" and so on. Most films they go through are stuff we've heard about before, which is understandable because the program needs to work for everyone watching, but I think it would've worked a lot better as a series of episodes focusing on each era. I wanted to know more about the reasoning behind some cuts, maybe go through even more films that were cut, and so on.
The people they interview range from the people behind the cuts, to people involved in the movies (it was pleasant to watch the interview with Christina Lindberg, even though I've heard the stories a few times now) and some other guys that just know a lot about the culture (Rickard from Klubb Super 8, a member from the band Sator, etc). Then of course it features scenes of the now classic Studio S-program about video violence.
The runtime really limited the documentary a lot and even though I liked it I think it just barely scratches the surface. But it's a fun watch, it has some great archived clips such as the video store inspector who questions a clerk about sadistic porn films and asks him if he imports weird things to customers. There was also a bit with an artist who had edited together an arthouse project with all the cuts that have been made in Sweden into just one film, with a runtime of over 50 hours, called "Magic Bullet" (would be cool to watch, but no way I would get through all of it). Recommended to fellow Swedes because it's interesting to listen to some of the absurd discussions and go through archived footage from 100 years ago up until now. The censoring of the documentary on SVT's streaming page is a shame, but mostly for Peter Normark who was hired to make this. I'm sure those who wanted to watch it did. If you still wanna watch it, there are means for that as well.
NOTE: The ratings in this review are based on the movie footage shown, which is both pornography and gore. Effects is left blank.