I love a good public service announcement that cuts to the chase. Particularly when it exceeds my otherwise high tolerance for violence/destruction and makes my skin crawl. This is one such advert. Too bad that the UK censors deemed it too violent for television. In an age when our tellies screen dozens of murders per day, some of which are real, it seems a bit rich to deem a PSA on domestic violence too violent for viewers.
In early April, the UK charity Women’s Aid, which battles domestic violence, released this public service announcement, directed by Atonement director Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley. Without showing graphic violence you couldn’t see on any crime procedural any night of the week, Wright creates a genuinely disturbing two-minute film that unsettles precisely because it’s shot so straightforwardly.
But now, Clearcast, the body that’s responsible for approving ads for British television, has reportedly decided that the PSA is not suitable for television unless they cut the end. You know, the part with the domestic violence in it.
I find it tragic that we are willing to wallow in violence for entertainment, but are afraid to look at something that resembles the real thing. Good on ya Women’s Aid, for bringing some reality to our diet of reality TV.