Established by the film industry in 1912 as the nation's only official and independent classifier of the moving image, the British Board of Film Classification (originally the British Board of Film Censors) has long been a source of fascination and sometimes a bone of contention for filmgoers, film-makers and industry figures. Our book, published in our centenary year, traces the fascinating history of film classification, censorship and controversy in Britain, and marks an unparalleled collaboration between the BBFC and leading film critics, historians and cultural commentators.

The book charts the organisation's history alongside the cultural, social and political forces that have helped shape it. Together the writers explore shifting public attitudes towards cinema's portrayal of sex and drugs, horror and violence; the different perspectives of our successive leaders; the impact of controversial decisions, and the ever-changing nature of moving image distribution and exhibition.

The book also features unique case studies, written by our staff, focusing on significant films that have provoked debate and controversy both within the BBFC and more widely Battleship PotemkinThe Snake PitA Clockwork OrangeIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and many more.

Behind the Scenes at the BBFC: Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age gives an entertaining and invaluable insight into changing attitudes to what counts as offensive, shocking or harmful over the last century, and shows how our work shapes what we see on screen.

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