Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Da Vinci debate rages on

Hot on the heels of Samoa's decision to ban the Da Vinci Code from video and television screening and video and dvd rental comes news that both the Phillipines and the Solomon Islands have followed suit. It seems this is an issue that's picking up steam throughout strongly Christian countries.

I don't really know anything about the situation in either country but I do know that the decision here has provoked a remarkable amount of dissatisfaction. Today's Observer has a full four pages of letters regarding the ban and all but one or two of them are negative. In the eight months I've been here I've not once seen this much page space devoted to letters (we're normally talking about half a page at best). Most of the letters boil down to the following question: does the Council of Churches worry so much about the strength of faith of Samoans that it has to ban a movie that is clearly a piece of fiction?

Whether or not the censor reverses the decision I suspect will be irrelevant. The movie will find its way here. The fact that easily 95% of all dvds for rental here are illegal copies in the first instance confirms that. The real question is how the Council of Churches acts. I'll keep you posted.

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