">Name: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Artist: John McNaughton|
Confronting Bodies: British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
Date of Action: 1991
Specific Location: Great Britian
Description of Artwork: "Henry" is loosely based on the exploits of serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas. Although containing scenes of extreme violence, its controversy comes from it being shot in such a manner so that the viewer sees the violence in the film with the same cold detached view of a serial killer. It has been described as "a morally blank film"
In Britain, the BBFC decided not to ban the movie completely, although the director of the board thought that would be the best move. They began by removing any scene that would associate sex with violence, explaining that this would dehumanize women in the minds of the viewers. However, after interviewing forensic psychiatrists who explained that the film reflects the same lack of morals that serial killers operate under, the board decided more would need to be cut for the video release.
The board explained that they believed watching the scene of a video taping on a video would make it seem considerably more real than being on a film screen. This would allow a small proportion of viewers, they say, to live out their sick fantasies over and over again.
As a result, the video of "Henry" is more censored than the film version in Britain.
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