Visions of Ecstasy
|Visions of Ecstasy|
UK DVD cover
|Directed by||Nigel Wingrove|
|Produced by||John Stephenson|
|Written by||Nigel Wingrove|
|Music by||Steven Severin|
|Edited by||Steve Graham|
|Running time||18 minutes|
Visions of Ecstasy is a 1989 short film that became the only work to be refused a certification by the British Board of Film Classification on the grounds of blasphemy. The film, which was directed by Nigel Wingrove, was banned because it featured sexualised scenes of Saint Teresa of Ávila with the body of Jesus on the cross. The BBFC felt that any release of the film could be liable for prosecution under the common law offence of blasphemous libel.
As cutting the scenes would remove approximately half of the film's content, the board decided to refuse certification altogether. The distributor appealed to the European Court of Human Rights but the BBFC's decision to reject certification was upheld.
The film shows the 16th Century Spanish nun St Teresa of Avila caressing the crucified body of Jesus.
A secondary school science teacher was arrested for selling Wingrove's blasphemous video, “Visions of Ecstasy” in February 1992 in Birmingham. Michael Newman, who was also an atheist, then repeated the act of selling the video in public near to Canterbury Cathedral. This led to a debate with the Bishop of Rochester on BBC Radio Kent. Newman later resigned as a teacher following protests from Christian parents. Newman also made an appearance on Channel Four’s “Comment” in August 1992.
- "Visions of Ecstasy gets UK rating after 23 year ban". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
- Wingrove v. The United Kingdom, (1997) 24 EHRR 1,  ECHR 17419/90
- "Visions of Ecstasy rated 18 by the BBFC". BBFC. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Smith, Warren Allen (2000). Who's Who in Hell, A Handbook and International Directory for Humanists, Freethinkers, Naturalists, Rationalists, and Non-Theists. New York: Barricade Books. ISBN 1-56980-158-4.
- Visions of Ecstasy at the Internet Movie Database
- BBFC - Case Study
- The Quietus Interviews Steven Severin 
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