Code Red: Controversial Films–Definition; Issues (Race, Religion, Sex)

The category of controversial films has embraced many different kinds of features–and for different reasons

Films that are too progressive, taboo-shattering

Films that are too randy

Films that are objectively despicable

Films that are synonymous with outrage.


Films about Religion

The Last Temptation of Christ, 1988

The Passion of the Christ, 2003

Nativity, 2006 (Catherine Hardwicke)

Da Vinci Code, 2006


Softening Controversial Material

As an entertainment machine, Hollywood has developed mechanisms to soften controversial material

The Grapes of Wrath

How Green Was My Valley

The Cider House Rules



Particular Movies

Hate (La Haine, French, M. Kassowitz, 1996)

The film caused uproar in France. Its uncompromising portrayal of  three lowlife thugs, with whose plight it’s hard yo sympathize.

The feature was charged with being vicious, violent, cynical, of depicting c0rrupt values and promoting filthy dialogue.

The message of the film was downbeat: There  was no hope for these doomed members of the underclass.

Released in the US by Gramercy Pictures, the feature was a failure.