Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year film critics have praised Prano Bailey-Bond‘s feature film debut Censor (2021) as a very fresh new vision of the horror genre, foreseeing a wide career for this young filmmaker. The movie has been called to be “elegant and disquieting”, “deliciously executed”, “insidious”, and “haunting” for some of the media.
Set in the 1980s, when the media-hyped debate about the effect of violent videos on society was at its peak and the Thatcher government was tightening censorship, the movie centers on Enid, a film censor who takes her work seriously. With meticulous zeal, she recommends the redaction of extremely violent, brutal, bloody, and sexually explicit scenes for censorship, without which no film can be released. Her sense of duty is reinforced by feelings of guilt from her childhood. The mysterious disappearance of her younger sister still weighs heavily on her. Enid has not yet given up the search for her, though her parents have decided to have her sister pronounced dead. When Enid is assigned to censor a film from the archives, it rekindles fresh memories of that time. Becoming increasingly obsessed, she picks up the trail and embarks on a nightmarish, feverish quest during which the lines between fiction and reality become blurred.
Censor (2021) works as some sort of follow-up for the director’s short film Nasty (2015), which has collected a big amount of awards including the Jury Award at Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival, Best Short Director, and Best Short Picture in Maverick Movie Awards, the Bronze Skull Special Mention at Morbido Fest, Best International Short at Women in Horror Film Festival, and Best Short at The IndieFest Film Awards.
Prano Bailey-Bond has also been the co-writer of Censor (2021) together with English historian Anthony Fletcher. Niamh Algar, one of the stars in the TV series Raised by Wolves (2020– ), leads the main cast alongside Michael Smiley, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller, Clare Holman, Andrew Havill, and Felicity Montagu.
After its successful appearance at the Sundance Film Festival, Censor (2021) has also been part of the Berlin International Film Festival, Imagine Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, and Jeonju International Film Festival. The movie will have a limited theatrical release on June 11, 2021, and will be available on digital on June 18, 2021, via Magnet Releasing. Here you can watch its official trailer.
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