by oooph on September 22, 2013 - 11:26pm
Censorship has always been kind of a big deal in terms of what we should censor, who should censor, why we should censor a certain piece and I could go on. I can definitely say that I'm against all censorship. I think that whatever an artist creates, as long as it doesn't cause physical harm to someone, go against the law or anything along those lines, should be given full credit for. Sure warnings and age limits should be advised but nothing should be blocked off to certain groups of people. The particular issue I'm getting referring to is Xavier Dolan's latest piece of work, a music video he directed for the song College Boy by a band called Indochine. Here's the link so you can go watch it before reading the rest of this article: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnxdbPbVk-Y
Obviously, after watching the video you can now understand why there has been so much controversy. The question asked, of course, goes like this: Should we or should we not censor this very graphic and violent video clip that yet, denounces an extremely important issue, such as bulying, which is very present in today's society?
My conclusion comes down to the fact that, no, we should not censor this video because as mentionned above it sends a very strong message about bullying and the consequences of bullying. If we were to censor this piece for kids under the age of 16 or even 18, wouldn't that defeat the purpose? Bullying is mostly present within those categories of ages. Dolan was given entire creative freedom while working on this shoot and made the choice to involve those scenes as a mean to cause a reaction; to disturb the audience and give them a wake up call about this issue. As shocking as these images may seem, video games and films often have worst gore than this and we are so used to it that it doesn't really bother us. Why, then, is it so shocking when put in a video where a boy gets crucified and shot? Xavier Dolan says,
"Is there really another way today in 2013 to make an impression on people so they will know if they do hurt other people they will feel the pain and the violence and how far will we go? We live in a society that allows this sort of extreme violence."
The symbolism of the blindfold used in the video is such a strong visual because it demonstrates how everyone always shuts their eyes and walks away from acts of bullying instead of trying to stand up for the victim. When people keep ignoring those acts, they start increasing, little by little until it degenerates as seen in Indochine's video. Yes, this video may be hard to watch for some but it brings awareness about a very important problem that today's society needs to solve and which is, in my opinion, amazing well crafted.
On the other hand, I do understand that some may think that bullying will never literally go as far as shooting or crucifying someone, therefore why have to bring religion and extreme violence into play? There are many other ways to solve issues such as bullying without having to create such a scandalous music video. Françoise Laborde, member of the CSA (Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel) says,
"On va l'étudier (le vidéo) évidemment en groupe de travail. Mais il devrait y avoir au minimum une interdiction aux moins de 16 ans et peut-être une au moins de 18 ans."
Rather than depicting violence in such a crude manner, Dolan should present us with solutions on how to solve the bullying issue instead. Amplifying these acts of cruelty may simply give children nightmares or even worse, ideas on how to bully others in the future.
Now, considering every detail of the College Boy music video, how did it make you feel? And if you were part of a Censorship Office, how would you classify this content? Why?