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Top 10 banned films in the world

By Pang Li  (

10:48, August 31, 2012

Top 10: I Spit on Your Grave, 1978, U.S.

Take a look at the promo poster saying "this woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition…" and you may get an idea of what this rape and revenge film, also known as "Day of the Woman" is about. The notorious film written and directed by Meir Zarchi caused controversy due to its lengthy gang-rape scene and graphic violence. Zarchi did not only find it very hard to find a distributor after finishing the film but also saw it had been completely banned in many countries such as Ireland, Norway and Iceland on the grounds that it "glorified violence against women". He edited and submitted the film to the Motion Picture Association of America several times before gaining approval to show the film in the US.

Film critics trashed the film with overwhelming negative reviews. Some argued that the rape scenes were offensive and the film did not show any sympathy to the victim. Roger Ebert in a 1980 review dismissed the film as "a vile pile of garbage" without a single merit, adding that "attending it was one of the most depressing experiences of my life."

Zarchi responded to these criticisms by explaining he was inspired to make the film after helping a young woman who was raped. He also defended his film, saying it was not exploitative and the graphic violence was a necessary part of the story.

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