Animal rights rep, educators into the mix

ROME — Italy has changed the makeup of its censorship commission in the wake of the controversy over the decision to pass gruesome thriller “Hannibal” for general auds.

In each of the commission’s eight sections, two reps have been named by the Italian Parents Assn., the Catholic School Parents Assn. and the Democratic Parents org. In addition, an animal rights association rep has been appointed, along with educators from the fields of law and psychology.

Italy’s approach to censorship traditionally has been full of contradictions. While ultraviolent fare such as frightmeister Dario Argento’s thrillers is passed without restrictions, sexual and anti-religious content is subjected to more severe guidelines.

This double standard was underlined by the unrestricted release of “Hannibal” and the over-14 limit slapped on gay-themed Spanish teen pic “Krampack.” Such an age restriction limits TV sales to latenight slots, yielding lower acquisition prices and ad rates.

The new formation of Italy’s censorship commission signals the arrival of a more conservative ratings climate, particularly for screen violence.

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