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Films and morals

Should we censor apparently amoral films such as Pulp Fiction? Or are they challenging us to repudiate their twisted morality?

By Nigel Cliff   January 1999

James Ferman, the outgoing chief film censor, came clean the other week. Ferman, head of the British Board of Film Classification for 23 years, declared that he wished he had ordered more cuts to be made to the 1994 film Pulp Fiction than the one snip-a close-up of an injection-he deemed necessary at the time. He accused the film of glamorising drug abuse and increasing the number of young people who inject heroin.

Ferman suggested that viewers might emulate John Travolta, the star of Quentin Tarantino’s film. “Travolta takes heroin, drives along blissfully happy, picks up Uma Thurman, goes dancing…

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