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Thursday
Dec202012

Cool Or Not Cool: Canceling Potentially Upsetting Movie Screenings in the Wake of Tragedy?

For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume that everyone is aware of the recent, incredibly horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, and just get right down to the nitty gritty of this thing.

We recently received an email from an irate BAM member, who was upset that the organization cancelled recent screenings of John Waters' Female Trouble and Silent Night Bloody Night out of respect for the victims of Newtown, Connecticut. When this particular BAM member asked why the screenings were cancelled during a film series meant to depict “dark visions of the holiday season,” this was the reply that he received:

"I am the person who made the decision. We were worried that members who may have gotten babysitters so that they could enjoy the films would be upset by all the violence and it would remind them of the shootings. And after they got home it would be upsetting and these members would complain. And that is the reason. We are just postponing showing the films so close to the shootings."

Here's the thing, though. Wouldn't people going to see the films KNOW that there is potentially upsetting content? Silent Night Bloody Night doesn't exactly sound like a Hallmark movie of the week, you know? Why is one single person allowed to be the authority on what people can or can't handle seeing in the wake of a tragedy? 

What happened in Connecticut was a horrible tragedy. It was and still is unspeakably heartbreaking to think about. And although it is still pretty un-fucking-believable, what happened is real; it is something that is haunting the present. Female Trouble and Silent Night Bloody Night or not, what happened at that school is something that will be on our minds for a long time. Someone trying to control what movies we see in the wake of it is just a shitty Band-Aid. What’s that saying—"Out of sight, out of mind?" Oh yeah, I forgot, that ideology TOTALLY solves ALL problems! Obviously, that is incorrect. However, if that’s the direction this is going to go, at least have the decency to let us be the ones to choose to cover our eyes.

Thoughts?

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