Judging the content of Film vs. Print

“If the Bible (or Book of Mormon) was a movie, it would be rated R…”

A oft-heard phrase…notwithstanding they HAVE made movies based on the Bible and the Book of Mormon and most of them were not rated R.

As an objective analysis of content (rather than just an attempt to rationalize watching the latest violent action movies) it is true that both the Bible and the Book of Mormon text contain violent and sexual content. Do Latter-Day Saints (and other religious conservatives) use a different standard for judging “objectionable” content when it comes to movies, compared to content in books believed to be scripture? Are the Bible and Book of Mormon the equivalent of “R-rated”?

Movies and books are separate mediums. Movie ratings are determined not just on pure content, but how that content is presented. There are many different World War II movies, for example — some which cover exactly the same battle, even — but which have different movie ratings. War in real life may be “R-rated” (or worse), but that doesn’t mean a presentation of war in a movie needs to be equivalently R-rated. (Obviously not, since plenty of non-R-rated war movies exist) Battle scenes can be portrayed in graphic or non-graphic fashion, both of which can get the point across with varying amounts of blood. Jesus’s crucifixion has been portrayed in any number of movies and videos from Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ to LDS-produced videos with less violence and blood. Same content, different presentation.

Read the rest of this story at motleyvision.org/ldscinema/
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