The Chilean government has voted almost unanimously to scrap film censorship in the country, with 125 votes in favour and eight abstentions. However, the senate has asked to delay the vote's implementation until the approval of a bill presented by the newly appointed members of the ratings/censorship board, the Consejo de Calificacion Cinematografica (CCC).
Film and TV censorship has been solidly entrenched in Chile since 1973 when the military overthrew Salvador Allende's socialist government. The state-backed CCC has had the power to impose fines and force exhibitors and TV networks to pull out offending films. Last year, leading cable network VTR Cablexpress was reprimanded for airing Pedro Almodovar's raunchy Pepe, Luci, Bom Y Otras Chicas Del Monton (1980) which has been banned in Chile since 1982. One of the Spanish director's first films to be widely distributed, it includes scenes of drug abuse, sexual violence and female masochism.
A survey by daily newspaper Las Ultimas Noticias revealed that an overwhelming 74% of the respondents believed that erotic movies ought to be permitted after a 10:00 pm watershed on television and 62% approved of explicit sex on nightly telenovelas (soap operas).
The move coincides with the recent publication of the expose Pantalla Prohibida (Prohibited Screen) co-written by playwright and psychiatrist Marco Antonio de la Parra and film journalist Daniel Olave which explores the irregularities committed by the CCC which has banned as many as 800 films since its creation.