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Deep in the vaults of the Australian National Archives lie thousands upon thousands of celluloid scraps: scenes that were cut by government censors from films imported into the country between the years of 1958-1971. Peppered through this collection are banned scenes from some of the most influential directors in history, including Godard, Polanski, Bergman, Varda and Fellini. But censorship extended to hundreds of forgotten films—from avant-garde and documentary films to Hollywood B-movies.

When Sari Braithwaite gained unprecedented access to this mysterious collection, she though she could create a work to liberate this censored archive, to honour these displaced frames, and condemn censorship. But, after years of bearing witness to these fragments of film, this archive became challenging and unnerving. It felt almost impossible to celebrate or reconcile.

[CENSORED] is a work stitched entirely from these never-before-seen artefacts of censorship: it is the story of how one filmmaker confronted an archive to reckon with film, censorship, and the power of the gaze.

Featuring an acclaimed soundtrack by Munro Melano and the End, [CENSORED] is an entertaining and provacative polemic, challenging audiences with questions that defy easy answers. Just as the censor and the filmmaker are made complicit, so is the audience, who bear witness to this ambitious work.

“[CENSORED] was meant to celebrate freedom. Instead, it exposes something darker.” The Guardian

"If you like to think about how we look, who we look at, and the power dynamics involved, do not miss this film."  New Zealand International Film Festival

"Spotlights movie scenes censored by the Australian government." Chicago Tribune

"Pack[s] quite a punch, ultimately asking audiences to reflect on our own expectations of art, narrative and reality and just what we doand don'twant to see on screen." —Third Coast Review

“Top 10 film to see at the Chicago Film Festival.”Chicago Sun-Times

“Must-see! Sari Braithwaite's [CENSORED] is bound to open your eyes. Expect to be challenged and entertained, and to explore the role of censorship, as you step through a movie compiled from parts of other movies that you really weren't meant to see."Concrete Playground

“Braithwaite begins to interrogate the idea that a more powerful form of censorship was operating [and] throws our attention to the present where we ask ourselves: 50 years later, how much have things actually changed?”The Spinoff


Main credits

Braithwaite, Sari (film director)
Braithwaite, Sari (film producer)
Braithwaite, Sari (screenwriter)
Braithwaite, Sari (narrator)
Brugalé, Chloé (film producer)

Other credits

Edited by James Arneman; music composed by Munro Melano; music, The End.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Australian History
Cinema Studies
Cultural Studies
Film History
Gay & Lesbian Studies
Gender Studies
Human Rights
Human Sexuality
LGBTQ+ Studies
Women's Studies


; "[Censored]"; Icarus Films; Sari Braithwaite; free speech; censorship; film; film history; Australia; ; "[CENSORED]"; Icarus Films

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