Arthro-Pilates and Lupus





Censorship by intimidation

The court was a mad house last week as the press and the public anxiously awaited the decision from Judge Jean Beaulieu as to whether or not restrictions would be placed on the early July release of Karla Homolka. The now, 35 year old was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced, to a twelve year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against Paul Bernardo in the brutal murders of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. Taking advantage of an inadequate legal system, her willingness to “help” put her husband behind bars for life has been deemed “The deal with the devil”. 

Ontario residents are fearful not only of her release into the community, but also of the “release” of another sort. Coming this fall to a theatre near you is “Deadly”, starring Laura Prepon of That 70’s show, the true story of Homolka and Bernardo, “A psychological dance with death and depravity” as described by the production company. The film makers, who had originally planned a special pre-screening in Toronto in late June, have been forced to put this on hold, in response to the outcry on the part of Ontario politicians who do not want to see this film cross our Canadian borders.  Burlington Tory MPP Cam Jackson has even introduced a private members bill, 202, that he is hopeful will be passed in mid June and that would allow the French and Mahaffey families to sue for emotional distress should the movie appear on the big screen.  Jackson says, “We cannot stop it’s production, and this has nothing to do with censorship but if the film does appear in Ontario, the distributor and the movie theatre chain could be the subject of a law suit” Michael Sellers, producer of “Deadly”, said of the proposed legislation “ If the bill is passed, it may not be possible to release the film at all in Ontario”. 

This, in my viewpoint, is censorship by “intimidation”, or worse yet, censorship dictated by a political system telling us, what we should or should not see by making it virtually impossible for the film maker to bring his creation to the viewing audience. Concerns that the filmmakers will profit from the families grief are in my opinion unfounded. While it is true that in the past, movies depicting serial killers such as “Monster”, about Aileen Wvornos or Helter Skelter about Charles Manson, have made money due to morbid curiosity, I believe that Ontario residents are smarter than the politicians give us credit for.

I have faith that the majority of individuals are not interested in paying our hard earned cash to see such a film and will ultimately make a bigger statement by allowing this sensationalized portrayal of psychopathic behavior into our theatres and by rendering it a box office flop! Getting them in their pocket books will make the biggest statement of all!

Censorship of books, music or movies, whether by activist groups, or politicians should be feared much more than a film about Homolka and Bernardo! Our individual right to free speech and expression and our freedom of choice is in dire jeopardy and if bill 202 passes it could potentially cause more damage and have more ramifications to our society than any film could ever have.

It’s a slippery slope if we allow anyone to make decisions for us. Today it’s a movie, and tomorrow, who knows?


©Lori Weisbrod


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