Visions of Ecstasy FINALLY granted 18 certificate

1 Feb

The BBFC blearily rubbed their collective eyes today as they emerged uncertainly into the 21st century by granting controversial short film Visions of Ecstasy an 18 certificate without cuts.

Nigel Wingrove’s 1989 short  was banned upon its release under blasphemy laws for depicting Spanish nun St Teresa of Avila engaged in compromising clinches with Jesus on the cross.  With the axing of the archaic blasphemy laws in 2008, the risk of any libel action against Wingrove was effectively negated, yet it has still taken almost four years for the BBFC to renege on their initial judgement, partly because Wingrove was initially reluctant to resubmit the work for approval.

Who even knew Nunsploitation was a genre?

The decision will come as a welcome relief to freedom of expression campaigners after Wingrove and the film’s distributors failed in their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in 1996 and marks yet another watershed moment in the history of the BBFC.

Last year the ‘censors’ famously relented when after initially refusing The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) a certificate, they then reversed the decision, albeit only after forcing 32 cuts.  On that occasion, it would have been wise to have saved the British public from that gratuitous snoozefest.

It remains to be seen in what form of release, if any, Wingrove’s work will receive.

In the meantime for those interested in gaining a little context into Wingrove’s pantheon of work might be best served by seeking out his 1999 film Sacred Flesh, a sado-masochistic, pseudo lesbian Nunspolitation picture.

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