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Tuesday, 3 March, 1998, 18:00 GMT
Fury over Italy film ban

A row has broken out in Italy over the banning of a film about the impact on Sicily of the Mafia crime syndicate.

A committee of the ministry of culture endorsed complaints from the Roman Catholic Church that scenes from the film - Toto Who Lived Twice - were blasphemous and perverted.

It included images linking religious symbolism to sexual acts and showed God indifferent to the crucifixion of a handicapped person.

The Culture Minister has dissociated himself from his committee's decision and the distributors said the action was unworthy of a democratic country.It's the first time for twenty-three years that a film has been banned in Italy.

The last were Pasolini's Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom and Bertolucci's Last Tango In Paris.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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