censorship. damned_in_the_usa

Damned In The USA

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The compelling, multi award-winning investigation of the censorship battles, anti-pornography debates and culture wars in the USA. Comedian JIMMY TINGLE acts as a “Greek Chorus”.

Focussed on the late 1980s and early 1990s – the root of our present malaise. In the late 1980s, American conservative groups began to wage a crusade against the government funding of artists. They deemed them threats to public decency and family values.

PAUL YULE points his lens at those closest to the controversy. Includes prominent conservative politician JESSE HELMS and Rev. DONALD WILDMON of the American Family Association. Also the controversial musicians and artists like ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE, ANDRES SERRANO and 2 LIVE CREW at the center of the firestorm.

A film by PAUL YULE

Yule’s documentary about censorship and the arts in the US, Damned in the USA became embroiled in a landmark legal dispute in 1991/2 . The film won the International Emmy for Best Arts Documentary. Then, in an attempt to stop US distribution, Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association sued Yule, his co-producer Jonathan Stack, and Channel 4 for $8 million. Wildmon described the film as “blasphemous and obscene”.

Channel 4 fought the lawsuit in court in Mississippi – and won – but not before Lou Reed had re-written the lyrics to his classic Walk on the Wild Side in support of the case.


  • WINNER International Emmy Best Arts Documentary 1991
  • WINNER Silver Plaque Chicago International Festival 1991
  • WINNER Melbourne Festival 1991
  • Edinburgh Film Festival 1991
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York 1991
  • IDFA, 1991
  • Rotterdam Film Festival 1992
  • Cork Film Festival 1991
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New York 1992


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