The language of love: Swedish sex education in 1970s London

Smith, Adrian (2018) The language of love: Swedish sex education in 1970s London. Film Studies, 18 (1). pp. 34-51. ISSN 1469-0314

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Abstract

In 1974 the British Board of Film Censors refused to grant a certificate to the Swedish documentary More About the Language of Love (Mera ur Kärlekens språk, 1970, Torgny Wickman, Sweden: Swedish Film Production), due to its explicit sexual content. Nevertheless, the Greater London Council granted the film an ‘X’ certificate so that it could be shown legally in cinemas throughout the capital. This article details the trial against the cinema manager and owners, after the film was seized by police under the charge of obscenity, and explores the impact on British arguments around film censorship, revealing a range of attitudes towards sex and pornography. Drawing on archival records of the trial, the widespread press coverage as well as participants’ subsequent reflections, the article builds upon Elisabet Björklund’s work on Swedish sex education films and Eric Schaefer’s scholarship on Sweden’s ‘sexy nation’ reputation to argue that the Swedish films’ transnational distribution complicated tensions between educational and exploitative intentions in a particularly British culture war over censorship.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA110 Social life and customs. Civilization. Intellectual life
Depositing User: Adrian Smith
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2019 11:30
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 13:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/81755

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