The Filmoteca revisits the pilgrimages made by cinema enthusiasts to Perpignan

Last Tango in Paris or A Clockwork Orange are just two of the formerly prohibited films that the Filmoteca is now showing as part of the cycle La romeria del pecat (The pilgrimage of sin)

What began as a small pilgrimage of Catalan film enthusiasts to foreign parts (Andorra, Céret and Arles were the first destinations) in order to see films that were prohibited by Spanish censorship of the day soon turned into a considerable exodus to Perpignan. Between the 28th and 31st of March, the Filmoteca de Catalunya remembers these escapades with the projection of, among others, Last Tango in Paris, the polemic film by Bernardo Bertolucci that revolutionised signature eroticism in film and is the most emblematic of the films prohibited by Spanish censorship in the early 70s.
 
This was not, however, the only film that Catalans had to go to France to see, and the Romeria del pecat cycle includes other films that were deemed controversial either for their sexual content or for the explicit nature of the violence portrayed, such as A Clockwork Orange, The Devils, What?, or Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask.
 
In addition to these 70s films by Stanley Kubrick, Ken Russell, Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, we can include The Great Dictator, one of the masterpieces by Charles Chaplin, a film which, despite being made in 1940, was not shown in Spain until 1976.
 
This exodus was responsible for film theatres in Perpignan adapting their programmes to the tastes of the audience from the other side of the Pyrenees, a phenomenon that, in the course of time, went beyond mere cinema going, causing Enrique Rubio, a journalist from the weekly journal El Caso, to subsequently baptise as the pilgrimage of sin.
Publication date: Monday, 18 March 2013
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