Sickies Making Films Limited Edition DVD

Article number: 00047301
Availability: In stock
A Film By Joe Tropea and Robert A. Emmons Jr.
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Decades before the existence of the MPAA and an implemented rating system, the United States had censors. At least seven states and dozens of cities across the country empowered government-employed censor boards to injudiciously cut films prior to their exhibition or even outright ban them. Sickies Making Films uses the nation's longest surviving censor board as a window into the tangled history of American movie censorship.

The film explores the question of why film censorship happens and the politics and prejudices involved by using several classic examples as case studies. Ranging from understandable to highly absurd, films were chopped or blocked due to things like unacceptable violence, language, or sexuality. Government appointed censor boards literally shaped the films their regional audiences could access. 
One such strong willed personality, Mary Avara, made herself known as part of the Maryland State Board of Censors, the longest running censor board in the country. Avara became one of the last censors standing and became somewhat of a fixture on late night television in part to her very public clashes with fellow Marylander John Waters.
A love letter to the movies, Sickies Making Films -- which is a direct quote from Avara herself -- crafts a hilarious yet informative tale examining the recurring problem of censorship in the United States.

85 minutes, Ages 18+

Director/Producer/Writer Joe Tropea is currently the Curator of Films and Photographs at MCHC. He is also a co-founder of the Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive Project.


"Recounts the history of film censorship and skillfully traces its evolution from the founding of the movie industry right up till the present time. It's a treasure chest of information and done in a very entertaining way. Film buffs are going to love it."
-Baltimore Post Examiner
"From the specific realm of the Maryland Board of Censors to broad applications of the First Amendment, this documentary explores the wide scope of film censorship from a variety of perspectives."
-Office for Intellectual Freedom of the ALA
"A MUST SEE for all film enthusiasts. A love letter to the movies"
-Film Invasion LA
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