JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s Film and Publication Board has banned Italian filmmaker Ruggero Deodata’s “Cannibal Holocaust” for distribution and public exhibition, but not for private possession.
The extremely violent 1979 pic features scenes of dismemberment, torture, castration and violent rape.
The board said the film was “undoubtedly the most disturbing” they had yet encountered. Though they agreed it carries a brutal message about the West’s rape of tribal cultures, “this message is unlikely to penetrate through the gory layers of intense sadism, bloodlust and perverse sexual violence.”
During the apartheid era, films regarded as too explicit, violent or political were banned. But with the advent of democracy in 1994 and the passing of one of the most liberal constitutions in the world two years later, the censors’ main job has been to decide age limitations on films to be screened publicly.