The Most Controversial Banned Films in History

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Last Updated: Jan 16, 2016

Some of the world’s most controversial films banned are filled with themes of rebellion, violence, racism, sex, and religion.

Here are the top films that were banned for their controversial content and effect:

The Birth of a Nation

p022cv5lDW Griffith’s film was released in 1915. This three-hour film shows how the Ku Klux Klan was founded. This film presented KKK in a positive way. It was feared that the film would ignite riot. The US National Association for the Advancement of Colored People conducted a boycott in certain cities in the USA.


p022cvftWilliam Wyler’s epic was released in 1959. It was banned in China because it promotes Christianity and Mao Zedong opposed religious beliefs. This film is still banned in China even now.

Battleship Potemkin

p022cvm5Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 film was a Soviet propaganda. Censorship boards from different parts of the world were afraid that the film promotes communism. France and UK banned the film during those times.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE 1974 film starring Gunnar Hansen as LeatherfaceThe original 1974 movie of Tobe Hooper was not as violent as the contemporary revival, but it was filed with themes of dreadful existentialism. It was banned in Singapore, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and West Germany for its violence.

Last Tango in Paris

p022cvv5Bernardo Bertolucci’s film was filled with raw sex between an old man with a much younger woman starring Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando. It was banned in different countries, including Italy. It is still banned in Singapore now.

District 9

District 9This movie is filled with anti apartheid symbolized by the alien outcast. The film shows a team of Nigerian gangsters trying to exploit the alien blood. The scene made Nigerians take the film as racist. It was banned in Nigeria.


p022cw32With anti-Catholicism themes and as Spain’s official 1961 Cannes Film Festival entry, this movie was prohibited to become an official entry and was banned in Spain.



p022cw6xThis film’s gay rights theme is not in line with Samoa’s culture, so it was banned in that Pacific Island.



Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom

p022cwb2The torture scenes in this film are just unbearable. It was banned in Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, and UK.

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