Mature Content Policy
Censorship – The Removal of ‘Mature Content’
""Thousand Year Films does NOT condone the idea of censorship but rather discretion and discernment."
Censorship is not merely the absence of ‘mature content’. It is entirely possible to have a movie that is ‘mature content’ free and it not be the result of censorship. Movies for children or families are great examples. They were written and produced without ‘mature subject’ matter from the beginning, and generally not suppressed in their expression. If we are producing a film such as these our film content policy is largely irrelevant.
The idea of censorship comes when the subject matter of a particular film moves into territories where more ‘mature themes’ intended for more ‘mature audiences’ where such ‘mature content’ would likely fit in context of the film, and then removing these elements from said production. It’s in cases such as this, when we apply our film content policy as to what is acceptable and what is not in our films.
Some would ask that if ‘mature content’ is such a grey area, why not just enforce a complete censorship just to be safe?
Thousand Year Films does not agree that full censorship or a complete blanket omission of such content is the appropriate answer to dealing with such material. The truth is; an extreme action such as this can also have incredibly negative effects.
- Censorship Is ‘lying by omission’
In many cases, the act of censoring truly is ‘lying by omission’. A lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception but can also include failure to correct pre-existing misconceptions.
- Censorship is binary and does not allow for ‘context’.
This blanket approach looks at a piece of work from merely a surface level, or binary enforcement. It is far too technical; not allowing for any discernment or wisdom on part of the creator, or on the viewer as well. This ‘big brother’ approach has a negative drive to it that does not allow for things such as honesty or grace, things Thousand Year Films holds in high regard.
Further, it does not allow for contextual meaning, almost as an extension of ‘lying by omission’ it doesn’t see the big picture. It doesn’t look or take into account the surrounding matter, and is a type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding material in such a way as to distort its intended meaning or purpose. Taking something out of context is to ignore the overall meaning of something in order to assign undue importance or meaning to a part of it.
When we create a film, we always look at the whole picture and not merely on a scene by scene, line by line method.
Censorship Has Negative Effects
It is 'lying by omission'
It is binary and does not allow for context
It limits topics that can be explored authentically
It can be disrespectful.
"Censorship has a negative drive to it that does not allow for things such as honesty or grace;
things Thousand Year Films holds in high regard."
- Censorship severely limits topics that can be explored authentically.
Human beings are complex; they are neither bad nor good. Even a moment of love from an otherwise ‘bad’ person can positively and greatly affect someone else’s life. On the flip side, ‘good’ people can do ‘bad’ things. It’s what makes people human, they’re imperfect, flawed.
Denying this truth by only being willing to portray upstanding ‘moral’ behavior on screen could make it very difficult to tell any story of substance. It creates such a false world that the audience will not buy into it subconsciously or maybe even consciously, and if they do not connect, they cannot be moved. This lack of authenticity or realism doesn’t just run the risk of being meaningless, or forgettable; it can potentially become something that is damaging to people by insensitively perpetuating false portrayals and ideas. This, finally, leads us to the final point on censorship...
Censorship can be disrespectful.
Misrepresenting something by ‘dumbing it down’, removing the ugly parts, diminishing the ‘pain’, or not showing it ‘as it is’; by cutting out all manifestations; words, actions, images, that could be deemed ‘inappropriate’, is lying through omission, and when this is done, it becomes an expression of far less strength than what would be expected. In other words, it is minimizing, downplaying, or making light of.
Censoring creates a false portrayal. It is false because everyone in their actual life, at some time or another, will go through what could be considered an ‘R rated’ experience. It can be painful, it can be dramatically life altering, it can be emotionally crippling, it can be physically and mentally incapacitating. It can bring a great loss, affect their relationships with others, be humiliating, and create feelings of shame and brokenness.
"There is nothing more insulting for someone than to hear someone or watch something (like a film) trivialize a painful experience they have endured."
There is nothing more insulting for someone than to hear someone or watch something (like a film) trivialize a painful experience they have endured.
To not bring a level of empathy to their experience by ‘taming it down’, is the same as declaring that a particular experience someone went through, or may be currently going through; really wasn’t that bad.
Censorship is an extreme narrow-minded action that does not fit into the values that Thousand Year Films holds upon its production. It can prevent authentic performances, believability in the created worlds, and more importantly censoring, in a binary sense, is a decision being made based on ‘fear’.
Thousand Year Films does not promote the idea of censorship but rather discretion and discernment. Ultimately, we believe that if an artist is afraid to deal with a movie/story that could arguably warrant having ‘mature content’- it is better to not make the movie at all, than to make a neutered, watered down version of the movie.
"It is better to not make the movie at all, than to make a neutered, watered down version of the movie."