Nell nude scenes portray child's innocence

The Straits Times | Apr 14, 1995
By: Ms Juliana Foo (reader)

I BELIEVE many young Singaporeans share Mr Koh Buck Song's point of view in his article Context Crucial In The Rating Of Movies (Life!, April 10).

First of all, we must face the fact that with increased educational level and exposure to media, ingaporeans are becoming more tolerant and open to nudity and sex issues.

It is no longer taboo to talk about sex or see it on screen. Which makes me wonder why there is clamping down of a few nudity scenes in Nell(PG) to make it an R(A) rating as suggested by Mr Peh Chin Hua (MP for Jalan Besar GRC).

As Mr Koh says: "The nude scenes in Nell are admittedly different, but they are also not calculated to titillate."

These scenes are essential in the portrayal of ignorance and innocence of a child of the wild. Mr Peh did not state if these scenes were repulsive, vulgar or detrimental to the moral of society, but merely pointed out that because of a few nude scenes, it should be restricted to adults only.

As with Schindler's List, many were denied the chance to watch a film that depicted cruelty of mankind and the cause of a humane act which resulted in the freedom of thousands. Nudity in these two films do not promote unethical behaviour or encourage free sex; they are merely tools to support the story and provide viewers with what is real and undeniable.

We should reflect upon whether censorship is necessary, and as Minister for Information and the Arts BG Yeo once said: "Censorship is not a matter of enforcement; it is also a public declaration of what we want our society to be.

" Definitely, with a few nude scenes, we are not undermining our moral standards, but merely moving gradually towards a more open society. The erosion of our Asian values and liberalisation should not always be blamed on the West, or in this context, Hollywood. The world changes, and I believe that Singaporeans are also moulding themselves to be more acceptable to world issues and concerns. We cannot try to block out constantly what was once considered "wrong" and deny ourselves the opportunities to develop in character and outlook.

Values are inculcated within the family and what we learn or hear will broaden our horizons but not deteriorate what we hold true in our own system.

With our growing economic standing and prominence in Asia as well as around the world, there is difficulty in stopping the flow of information into our media hub.

Let us remind ourselves that the tide changes, and it is better to move along with it than to resist and be swept up in a tidal wave.