It is not a big surprise that governments all over the world don’t like when someone is mocking them. We can talk about democracy as much as we want, but when it comes to protecting the throne, people turn to propaganda, bans, and restrictions. That makes the lives of moviemakers so much harder as they have to follow certain rules to avoid attacks from the officials. However, there are times when directors just stop caring about all the fame and fortune and depict life the way it is. There are times when filmmakers make controversial movies to show the world the truth. There are times when moviemakers use their power to highlight all the vanity around the world. Naturally, these films get a lot of attention. Some people worship these controversial movies; others hate it with all their guts. However, the mocked governments are never the ones that worship a satirical film. In contrary, most of the time we can see a good movie banned in a given country just for emphasizing certain weaknesses of that country or disagreeing with its views.
If you think that only Nazis or Communists banned movies, you have to think twice. There are still thousands of outlawed movies around the world. And believe me, there are some ridiculous reasons why governments forbid showing a film. I don’t know if I should cry or laugh about it, but one thing for sure – people are not allowed to watch a lot of masterpieces because of cruel censorship.
15. The Simpsons Movie (2007) – It Is Too Colorful For Myanmar
The Simpsons Movie was a big hit ten years ago. It was as funny as the series with all of our favorite characters on the big screen. From the first sight, The Simpsons Movie looks like an innocent film which could only hurt the feelings of Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, the government of Myanmar’s also thought that The Simpsons Movie is an inappropriate piece of art and banned it in their country. If that is stupid already, the reason will make you wonder what the hell is going on in Myanmar. The official version states that the reason for banning The Simpsons Movie is “the juxtaposition of the colors yellow and red.” Apparently, yellow and red are the colors of rebellious groups in Myanmar, so the government thought that The Simpsons Movie producers are supporting the rebellious moving. This is absolutely crazy. Anyway, if you don’t want any problems, don’t talk about Simpsons in Myanmar.
14. Back To The Future (1985) – Time Traveling Is A Crime In China
Back To The Future is one of the most iconic movies of the 90’s. Heck, it is one of the most iconic movies in history. I bet that most of us dreamed of traveling through time alongside Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown. Today, Back To The Future is at number 45 on IMDB Top 250, which only shows us that people are not giving up on time traveling. However, the Chinese government has a different opinion regarding time travel. They hate it, and they don’t want the Chinese people to learn anything about this witchcraft. That is why Communists in China banned Back To The Future straight after it was released. I am still trying to understand how watching the film could hurt China. I mean, it has nothing to do with China, and I doubt that people would be so stupid to think that they can travel through time just after watching a Sci-Fi movie. Anyway, remember not to time travel while you visit China.
13. Schindler’s List (1993) – There Is No Sympathy For Jews In Indonesia
Schindler’s List might be one of the greatest movies ever created. It won 7 Oscars, ranks 6th on IMDB top 250, and has a stunning 93/100 on Metascore. Steven Spielberg perfectly depicted the cruelty of World War II. Schindler’s List is a movie which can make a goldfish cry. It also teaches us that there is greatness even in the darkest moments. However, the Indonesian government has a different opinion about this matter. According to them, Schindler’s List is being sympathetic to Jews, and that is the reason why Indonesia banned this film in 1993. Sorry, but it is f-ing outrageous. How is being compassionate towards people, who had to face the cruelest genocide in human’s history, is wrong? It is the same as saying that we should not empathize with the victims of serial killers, or children who were abused by their parents. Please, someone, tell the Indonesian government that Nazism is wrong and long gone.
12. A Serbian Film (2011) – Justifying Pedophilia Is Simply Wrong
A Serbian Film is singlehandedly the grossest movie ever. I have no idea why I have watched it but believe me; I had no appetite for weeks after it. A Serbian Film contains a lot of sexually violent scenes, including rape and pedophilia. It is not a big surprise that many countries banned this movie before it was even released. You will not be able to watch A Serbian Film in Spain, New Zealand, Norway, and Brazil. All the countries have similar reasons for the ban – explicit content. A Serbian Film is so disgusting that it even breaks criminal law in Norway. And believe me, those countries have not exaggerated the situation by taking such drastic measures against the piece of “art.” The Brazilian government summed it up perfectly by stating the film is an “apology for pedophilia.” If you already want to watch the movie just to make sure that all the bans are reasonable, don’t traumatize yourself – the bans are actually fair.
11. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) – Too Loose For Most Of African Countries
The Wolf of Wall Street is a masterpiece of collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. It is a biography of the Wall Street’s loose cannon Jordan Belfort. Obviously, during his time in Wall Street, Jordan Belfort was extremely into all the fun things such as women, drugs, and money. Leonardo DiCaprio did a great job depicting all this vanity. And it was funny as hell and completely brilliant. However, most of the countries in Africa, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, thought that The Wolf of Wall Street was way too explicit. Many governments in Africa banned the film for explicit sexual content, profanity, drug use, and nudity. What can I say? Those countries should prohibit the rest of the Hollywood movies as well. Yes, there were a few controversial scenes in The Wolf of Wall Street, but in my opinion, banning it from the cinemas was too harsh.
10. 2012 (2009) – It Is A Crime To Depict The Year 2012 In A Negative Light In North Korea
Do you remember how the world should have ended in 2012? Roland Emmerich even directed a movie and called it 2012. Let’s face it; this movie was a ridiculous one, to say the least. However, the reason why the North Korean government has banned this film is even more ridiculous. You see, the year 2012 was Kim II Sung’s, the supreme leader of North Korea, 100th birthday. The year 2012 was also named “the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower,” in North Korea. So, everything that depicted the year 2012 in a negative light was banned by North Korea. I know, it is one heck of a reason to ban a movie. North Korea only made a fool of itself once again. North Korean police even arrested several people for importing copies of 2012. The court pleaded them guilty with “grave provocation against the development of the state.” I just hope that those poor people are not locked up only for watching such a terrible movie like 2012.
9. A Clockwork Orange (1971) – Stanley Kubrick Himself Asked For The Movie To Be Banned
A Clockwork Orange is one of many Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces. The movie is a perfect caricature of all the problems that modern society has to go through. Of course, back in 1971, A Clockwork Orange seemed a little too harsh and too violent. It was banned by countries such as Singapore, Ireland, and South Africa. Apparently, the governments thought that it is too violent and all the rape scenes are not suitable for the viewers. However, people could not see A Clockwork Orange in the United Kingdom for another reason. Stanley Kubrick himself asked to take the movie out of the cinemas after receiving numerous death threats against his family. Apparently, some people thought that A Clockwork Orange is not right for the United Kingdom, so they threatened the director. That is pretty ironic, huh? Anyway, people were forced to forget A Clockwork Orange up until late 1999, when Stanley Kubrick died.
8. Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015) – Cambodia Has No Room For Insane Romance
After the book was such a hit, people had big expectations for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie as well. We know by now that Fifty Shades of Grey did not live up to any of those expectations. Yes, the movie was a sloppy one, with bad acting, poor directing, and unimpressive cinematography. The only good thing about Fifty Shades of Grey was the soundtrack. So, the governments of some countries in Asia had to act radically and save its people from such a horrible movie. For example, the Cambodian government released an official statement, explaining that they are banning the film for “insane romance, numerous sex sequence, and the use of violence during sex.” Bravo Cambodia! I especially like the part of “insane romance,” as it perfectly sums up Fifty Shades of Grey. Jokes aside, all the restrictions to air the movie on TV and in the cinemas are too harsh. Yes, it was a horrible movie, but so are a lot of Hollywood’s creations.
7. Deadpool (2016) – China Cannot Handle All The Graphic Violence
Deadpool might not be the greatest movie ever from the cinematic side, but we all loved seeing Ryan Reynolds on a quest for revenge. Deadpool won many rewards, and Ryan Reynolds’ character was named the “coolest character of the year.” That can only mean that we will be seeing many sequences. By we, I mean everyone except the Chinese. You see, the Chinese government decided that Deadpool was too violent for its people. I understand that some scenes were on a thin line between art and tastelessness. We can spend all day discussing if Deadpool crossed that line, but one thing is for sure – China made a mistake banning this movie from its theaters. I mean, you can see tons of dead fish, extremely polluted rivers, and people committing hit and run, in China. How is Deadpool even close to that? Well, I can only be sorry for the Chinese for having to live with such a rough censorship.
6. Zoolander (2001) – Iran Is Not Ready For Gay People
Zoolander was a hit comedy in 2001. People loved to see Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Milla Jovovich working alongside each other. Zoolander was by no means a masterpiece, but it was funny, and that’s all that people want from a good comedy. However, Iranians did not get the joke. The government of Iran banned Zoolander for perceived support of gay rights. Well, that is one hell of a reason to ban a movie, huh? It is a fact that people all around the world were very conservative in 2001, but art is art, and it should not get banned because of different views. Malaysia, for instance, had a better reason to ban Zoolander. Most of the action in the movie took place in Malaysia, and the government of Malaysia did not like how the movie depicted their country. I would also hate to see my country shown as an impoverished country, dependent on sweatshops. I can totally get why the Malaysian government decided to get rid of Zoolander.
5. Natural Born Killers (1994) – Ireland Didn’t Want To Deal With Copycat Killers
Oliver Stone directed one of the best movies about serial killers ever. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis did a great job depicting Mickey and Mallory Knox, traumatized psychopaths, who went on a killing spree. This combo made us unwillingly cheer for those sick serial murderers while watching Natural Born Killers. On top of that, the media in the movie also glorified Mickey and Mallory Knox. All those little facts are the reason why the government of Ireland decided to ban Natural Born Killers from their country. Apparently, the police got frightened that Natural Born Killers will inspire copycat killings. If those concerns sound stupid, just remember that there have been 14 alleged Natural Born Killers copycat crimes since 1994. It is very hard to understand how could someone be so delusional to start killing people in real life and expect media to glorify them. Well, maybe Ireland was right to ban Natural Born Killers after all?
4. The Last Temptation Of Christ (1987) – Christians From All Over The World Could Not Handle It
The Last Temptation of Christ is a provoking movie. It depicts events that people are afraid to talk about, and it shows that even the best of us might be weak and uncertain. Martin Scorsese proved the world that he is a true genius by directing The Last Temptation of Christ. However, it is not a big surprise that Christians around the world got offended by this movie. There are even some cases of old Christians having a heart attack while watching The Last Temptation of Christ. Oh yes, this is one of the most controversial movies in history, and it is not a surprise that many countries chose to ban it. You would not be able to find The Last Temptation of Christ in Israel, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Philippines, Turkey, and many other countries. To be honest, I’ve seen nothing offensive in The Last Temptation of Christ. Yes, it is without a doubt controversial, but knowing how much Martin Scorsese loves to challenge religion, we could not expect anything else from that movie.
3. The Departed (2006) – One Line Closed The Market In China
Well well well, Martin Scorsese makes our list once again. Apparently, this man has a lot of haters all over the world by now, but it only proves that his work is mind-provoking and has a lot of meaning. Anyway, The Departed has won four Oscars and is considered to be one of the greatest crime dramas ever. The likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, and Matt Damon definitely add to the beauty of The Departed. So, why did China ban this movie from their cinemas? There is one line in The Departed which suggests that the government of China is planning to use nuclear weapons in Taiwan. That is it. I know, the Chinese government was totally paranoid and delusional to ban The Departed. Yes, it was a sensitive political issue at the time, but by banning The Departed, China only showed that they are incapable of dealing with it. Good thing, no one cares much about this prohibition anymore, as The Departed was a great success even without help from China.
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – People Were Not Ready For The Violence
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the greatest and most controversial horror movies ever. It is still disturbing and gross today, so I can only imagine how it scared the people in 1974. I mean, no one was prepared to see a family of cannibalistic psychopaths torturing poor teenagers. Oh yes, the horror movies are made to scare the living hell out of you, but all those gross and violent scenes in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were way ahead of time. Many countries, including Finland, France, and Brazil, decided that this movie is better off buried six feet under and banned it. I totally get their reasoning, but isn’t The Texas Chainsaw Massacre exactly what a horror movie must be? Well, people had a different opinion 40 years ago. Also, all the sequences of the film were banned in the countries all over the world as well. Yes, you have to see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre if you haven’t already.
1. Antichrist (2009) – Catholics In France Were Not Impressed
Lars von Trier is the guy, who cannot live without controversy and scandals. He openly hates American culture and makes fun of it whenever he gets a chance. It is not a big surprise that Hollywood hates him back. On top of that, Lars von Trier has more enemies all over the world. For instance, the Catholic traditionalist pressure group Promouvoirhis did not like Lars’ movie Antichrist. They got offended by all the violent and sexual content and decided that France is better off without this film. Promouvoirhis spent years trying to prove that France had to ban Antichrist. They succeeded in 2016, seven years after Antichrist was released. A French court ruled in Promouvoirhis’ favor, and Antichrist is out of France at the moment. I just hope that the French fans of Lars Von Trier took their chance to watch Antichrist before the Catholic traditionalists banned it.