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Hillsborough families call for the gladiator DVD to be BANNED!

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Phil Hinton, Jan 31, 2001.

  1. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    I have just watched Liquid News on BBC Choice at 8.30pm tonight,and they ran the following story.

    "Families of the Hillsborough disaster are angered at the recent release of Gladiator on DVD and have asked the culture secetary Chris Smith to ban the Disc.The disc contains extra features which features a documentary on violence at sporting events and included are clips of the football disaster which killed over 90 liverpool supporters.They feel disgusted at the inclusion of the clips and want the disc BANNED.No government official would comment."

    I dont want to comment to much on this story other than that i have watched the documentary in question and did feel that it was out of place,it had no relevance with the tone of what the documentary was saying. But, this documentary was made in the US and i can acknowledge that these pictures can be very haunting and depressing to family members.However i do not think that the disc should be banned.I do however think a sticker or warning could be placed on discs warning of the content of the documentary.

    What are your thoughts?

    [This message has been edited by THX 1138 (edited 31-01-2001).]
     
  2. Cortex

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    Not to be dis-respectful of any of the families that were involved in Hillsborough, but what would the point be, to ban this film which quite a lot of copies on DVD and VHS have already been sold. Everybody that wanted this film would be sensible enough to own a copy already. Films always seem to be the victim, but IMHO I haven't watched the extras documentary and there would be no point to ban the film all because of the documentary upset a few people.
     
  3. Black 5

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    While I can only imagine the anguish the Hillsborough disaster has caused many families, it's not right to pretend it never happened, however the archive footage is used.

    Many times, I have seen footage to do with other sporting disasters (the one that sticks in my mind is that of a racing car engine flying into the crowd at Le Mans in the 50s) which led to Mercedes Benz pulling out of motorsport.

    At some point, any archive material can be used to perhaps further a particular argument or cause and I don't believe there is a whole lot that can or should be done in a free society.

    We're all movie fans here and if there is one fruitful source of material it is just this type of thing (Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, and many many others) where somebody's misery may be depicted on the silver screen. Where does good taste end and reporting/dramatisation of an event start? How many years after the event is it respectful to observe?

    Is censorship of this type/scale desirable?

    Just my thoughts..
     
  4. GidGrace

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    I've seen this in the Gladiator extras and, however terrible the tragedy of the loss of life at Hillsborough, there is no glorification or trivialisation of the disaster.

    So...why should we ban it?
    Are people seriously trying to say that no-one should be allowed to use footage of the disaster in any way?

    No-one buys the Gladiator disc just for the extras, so it's not being used by the studios as a way to make extra money. I for one wouldn't have missed it if it wasn't there, but that's not the point, is it!

    The people who complain should step back and think of the true effect of including this footage - anyone who watches it will feel sadness for the people who were lost.

    The complaining busybodies obviously have nothing better to think about - I have sympathy, but when they try to interfere in what Joe Public can watch for selfish reasons they can fudge off.

    (A little harsh maybe - but I really do hate censorship)
     
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    Think of it this way. If it appeared on another disk like "Top Disasters 2" or summit - and I'm not trying to be funny here - then most folk I know would probably say that was pretty f*cking sick so as it does appear under the banner of Home Entertainment then IMHO then you can understand why the families would be upset. I know I would be. In answer to Black 5 question "How many years after the event is it respectful to observe?" my answer would be probably as long as the victims and/or relatives dictate.

    I too have an abhorrence of censorship but DO think that any extras should have some relevance to movie.

    Just my tuppence worth.




    [This message has been edited by fatbhoyslim (edited 01-02-2001).]
     
  6. Rob Gillespie

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    The disc wont be banned, but all copies from this point on will be pressed with the offending picture removed.

    Dreamworks have acknowledged that this was a mistake and have apologisd for it.

    This is a quote taken from a live chat we had with Dreamworks last week on Home Theater Forum. Here's the link for the whole transcript, if you're interested:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/files/dreamworks.txt

    Rob Gillespie
    Administrator
    Home Theater Forum



    [This message has been edited by Rob Gillespie (edited 11-02-2001).]
     
  7. PoochJD

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    Hi,

    After reading all the posts in this thread, I'm not quite sure if removing the offending "picture" of the Hillsborough disaster will make that big a difference, will it?

    I mean: firstly, god-knows how many thousands of copies have been sold, so this idea seems a little pointless. However, I understand both Universal's reasons for doing so, as well as the relatives of the tragedy itself.

    One thing I'm not sure about though, is that the picture was used within a justifiable context. It did not say that violence in sport caused the Hillsborough tragedy, nor did it lay blame on any particular group of people (i.e. supporters, officials, police, etc.), for causing the tragedy itself, so why should one photo be considered to be so insensitive? The picture was from an unknown source, and I get the impression that the relatives of those who lost their lives in this tragedy, would like it if everyone simply forgets that Hillsborough every happened.

    If that is the case, then every year when various book publishers, publish these yearly "20th Century History Encyclopedias", does that mean that they too will not be allowed to show any image of the tragedy? And what about the news press, or TV news companies, or anti-violence for football groups? Are they too, all going to be forced into not showing any imagery as well?!

    I don't want to trivialise what happened, but if this precedent is continued, then it may be the case that sooner or later, no one will be allowed to show anything, regardless of context, for fear of offending someone. Isn't that the whole basis upon which censorship is based? And isn't censorship (for adults) something the majority of us abhor?!

    On a similar note, I would like to point out that acclaimed TV dramatist Jimmy McGovern (of TV's "Cracker" fame) used the Hillsborough tragedy twice: it first turned up in the award-winning second series episode of "Cracker" with Robert Carlyle as Albie - the psycho-nutter who wanted to avenge the deaths of those who lost their lives at Hillsborough, including his character's father. Plus, McGovern also created the two-hour drama "Hillsborough" which, I believe, helped aid getting more people to pressure the government for a full-enquiry to be made into the whole tragedy. The relatives, were pleased about his drama, for being "poignant" as well as "factually-accurate", if my memory serves!

    It appears to me, that the Hillsborough families are trying to manipulate the media, as and when it suits them. What do the rest of you think?!

    Pooch
     
  8. Rob Gillespie

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    Part of the documentary:

    While the line is spoken, three still images are shown. One of a particularly hard rubgy tackle, one of a boxing match and one of people in the Hillsborough stadium clammering to get out of the massively overcrowded section of the stand, in which dozens of people were being crushed and asphyxiated to death.

    That image should never have been included in the montage. Not only does it have nothing to do with the subject matter, it is also implying (by showing it during the above section of narration) that the incident was the result of some kind of crowd lust for blood and violence. It wasn't, obviously.

    The production company was wrong to include the image and have apologised for it, taking the appropriate action.




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    Rob Gillespie
    Home Theater Forum
     
  9. gwbailey

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    PoochJD, The reason the families weren't happy is because the deaths of there beloved one's were shown on a dvd which was ment for entertainment!!

    If you or anyone else find that entertaining then you are a very sick person!

    The thing is you see they dont want to be reminded as you said?, so when they sit down to watch their new dvd they are not expecting to see those horrible scenes all over again with out any pre-warning?

    (eg)how would you like it if you lost a son in a car crash, then when you're least expecting it (watching TV,DVD or VHS)you see all the horriffic pictures of the crash all over again? pictures of your son dying? WHO? has got the right to do such a thing with out any warning? WHO? the families thats WHO. But they were never asked! WHY? because the're football fans and they are STILL treated like ****!! thats why!! Thats why they asked Jimmy Mcgovern, to HILIGHT the TRUTH, to make those people who don't know the TRUTH aware?

    How do I know?

    I was there?
     
  10. PoochJD

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    GWBailey said:

    1) PoochJD, The reason the families weren't happy is because the deaths of there beloved one's were shown on a dvd which was ment for entertainment!! If you or anyone else find that entertaining then you are a very sick person!"

    I never said I found it entertaining! All I said, was that in my opinion, it was a little too late to remove the offending item. Also, the BBFC approved the documentary, and are also the same people who would be the first to say that the offending scene was being shown "out of context", and ask for its removal. They obviously didn't, but must have had to think about whether or not the families involved, would have wanted to have been reminded. Also, there is the point of documentaries being different from fictional films. "Gladiator" was a fictional film, that used some real-life characters. A documentary's first purpose is not to entertain, but to inform and educate.

    2) You also said: "The thing is you see they dont want to be reminded as you said?, so when they sit down to watch their new dvd they are not expecting to see those horrible scenes all over again with out any pre-warning?"

    Fair enough, and I agree with you. However, would a pre-warning simply encourage more people to purchase or view the disc, and thus have the exact opposite effect?

    3) Finally, you asked: How would you like it if you lost a son in a car crash, then when you're least expecting it (watching TV,DVD or VHS)you see all the horriffic pictures of the crash all over again? pictures of your son dying? WHO? has got the right to do such a thing with out any warning? WHO? the families thats WHO. But they were never asked! WHY? because the're football fans and they are STILL treated like ****!! thats why!! Thats why they asked Jimmy Mcgovern, to HILIGHT the TRUTH, to make those people who don't know the TRUTH aware?

    I agree that I wouldn't want footage of a relatives or friends death being misused by the media. However, this begs the question of who owns the footage? And if it is not owned by an individual, but by a company, then the matter becomes a lot more complex and difficult to stop. Without meaning to sound blase, anyone who has ever been involved in anything that has ever been filmed, for whatever reason, could say they don't want to have the footage used: this could include pictures from soldiers fighting in the war, teachers in a news-report on a particular school, or a local news-piece of the brand new childrens playground facilities at the local park. At what point is using footage okay, and when do we reach the point at which it is not okay? I can't answer that, but that is the question that I think this whole matter boils down to.

    You also mentioned that "football fans were being treated like ****". NO offence meant, but how is using one shot of a still photo, the same as treating all football fans like dog-poop? If you meant to say that the "Hillsborough" fans were being treated badly, because permission wasn't sought about the use of the picture, then I could understand that, but you can't generalise all football fans, as being treated badly, in one fell swoop.

    Anyway, like I originally wrote, I'm not trivialising what happened, but I can't condone the use of the photo, when I don't know anything much about why it was included, its intention, or how the photo was obtained and why it was placed in the spot in the documentary, that it ended up in. I also think that, to a certain degree, as the photo was a generic shot, and did not highlight any particular individual, it wasn't entirely out of context for a documentary to use.

    Therefore, in my opinion, I think that banning the offending image, won't do much. However, I apologise sincerely, if the way I wrote about the Hillsborough families manipulating the media, caused serious and/or undue offence. I wasn't trying to do that, but only to point out that this could become a (potential) sticking point for other such actions, when someone doesn't like a photo or image or piece of music. I was also concerned about the fact that on the one hand, the families were okay about Jimmy McGovern to write a two-hour drama for TV on the subject, dramatising (mainly for entertainment purposes) the whole affair, but object to a still photo. To me, that seemed a little one-sided and biased.

    However, ultimately, everyone has their own opinions, rightly or wrongly, and this is one of those issues that everyone will say something different about whether the shot should have been used, or not.

    Pooch
     
  11. Black 5

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    What motivates someone to create more sensation about something that may be in questionable taste, as is the case here?

    All this does is serve to create publicity for those whose taste is being questioned and in this case who might have profited from it.

    We all know that the easiest way to create a market where one otherwise didn't exist is to 'ban the product' and there have been numerous examples over the years of just such a thing in the music industry (Relax, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Je t'aime, etc).

    Why make an issue when the best solution is to ignore it? I wouldn't have even known about the offending item if it wasn't for this debate.

    On the subject of censorship and what is acceptable to be covered, I refer to my earlier contribution - the history of movies is littered with dramatisations of real life tragedies, many of which make no attempt to disguise the origins of their story. Did relatives of victims of the Titanic complain when A Night To Remember was released?

    My conclusion is there's too much intrusion but I'd better be careful in case Blair's spy cronies intercept this email and label me a subversive - now, there's a good plot for a film
     

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