Film censor steps down in protest

Gunnel Arrbäck, head of the National Board of Film Classification (Statens Biografbyrå), has resigned from the agency that she has long fought to have closed down. After 26 years, she is now set to step down from her post as Sweden's top film censor.

“I’ve grown tired of this. I’m not getting what I want with regard to what I think should be fundamental rights surrounding freedom of speech. For this reason I have come to the realization that it is better if somebody else takes over,” she told Svenska Dagbladet.

Gunnel Arrbäck and her colleagues are of the view that the board has passed its expiry date. But there are no signs that the government has any plans to remove the law stating that movies that have a brutalizing effect may not be shown in the cinema to an adult audience.

“There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any such effect. Administering a law like this seems strange – we have to take a stance every day on whether or not we should approve films for viewing.

The majority of the parties in government are also opposed to censorship but the Christian Democrats are keen to preserve the law as they regard it as having a “normalizing role in society”.

Arrbäck had initially hoped for a change under the Alliance government but has now reassessed the political climate.

“It’s not going to happen,” she said.

The last time the board cut scenes from a non-pornographic film was in 1996, Svenska Dagbladet reports. Despite the director’s protests, three scenes were removed from Martin Scorcese’s gangster movie ‘Casino’.