17 Girls and censorship. Coulin: "No problems in other countries"
by Vittoria Scarpa
21/03/2012 - "The climate of suggestion among the kids featured and their extremely transgressive behavior, particularly the scenes with dangerous driving, the scene with heavy smoking and the difficulties in managing their own behaviour, highlight the possibility that minors who are not capable of elaborating on the deeper meaning of the film might emulate this behaviour". Such is the official reason, given a week after the first declaration of censorship (read the news), with which the Italian film revision commission labeled Delphine and Muriel Coulin’s 17 Girls [trailer] as a film restricted to minors under the age of 14.
There is no doubt that this first work by the two French sisters – screened at the Cannes Director’s Fortnight 2011 (see the news) and winner of the Jury’s Special Prize at the latest Turin Film Festival – is not exactly the pinnacle of political correctness: collective and unconscious pregnancy, casual and unprotected sex among minors, smoking and alcohol during pregnancy, reckless driving while heavily pregnant. It is a sad thing, however, that this decision once again exposes the lack of trust in the intelligence of young Italians: "The film has been screened in about 20 countries, from India to the US, even in schools", said Muriel Coulin, during the presentation of the film yesterday in Rome (her sister was absent as she is eight months pregnant, as if on purpose). "There have never been any problems, on the contrary, the kids had constructive reactions and talked about it".
"I am surprised by this ban, in a country like yours where the former prime minister asked for an underage girl for his birthday", Coulin added in protest. But the director admitted that she also received quite a bit of criticism in France, including that of "apology for collective pregnancies": "That comes from those who haven’t understood the film. Collective preganancy is a wonderful utopia, but is certainly not the best way to rebel", she retorts. However, the game isn’t over yet: already this morning the film could reach a new commission for a revision of the sentence, confirmed Vieri Razzini from Teodora, its distributor. 17 Girls comes out in Italy on March 23 in about 30 copies.
(Translated from Italian)