As a survey of film censorship, Kevin Rockett's new book (years in the making) is unlikely ever to be surpassed. He has scrutinized unpublished Censors' reports on more than 1,500 representative films, providing not only a history of the censorship but an insight into Ireland's national psyche, and the risks inherent in any censorship system.
The book maps the history of Irish film censorship from its origins in the 1910s, through to the all-encompassing Censorship of Films Act 1923, the more liberal implementation of screening policies from the late 1960s onwards, and present-day concerns about media proliferation and distribution. Its main focus is on the 1920-70 period, when Irish film censors banned 3,000 films and cut an additional 10,000.
The role of political censorship and its effect on television and cinema is examined, as are the more contemporary issues of video classification and debates around the Internet and child pornography. Through the examination of over 18,000 of the Censors' decisions, Kevin Rockett provides an invaluable insight into the cultural geography of Ireland.