(Sari Braithwaite)

A scene from Sari Braithwaite’s  [Censored]  {Photo: Arenamedia}

A scene from Sari Braithwaite’s [Censored] {Photo: Arenamedia}

Sari Braithwaite’s [Censored] is a collage masquerading as a social document. Scouring through the Australian National Film and Sound Archive, Braithwaite examines footage removed from films by the Australian Censor Board during 1958 through 1971, building a barely functional argument that strips the contextual relevance of the films she examines. What we get from this effort is the absolute worst kind of film criticism, an examination that renders every image as one-dimensional, seemingly created to fill out predetermined taxonomical classifications like “violence” or “male gaze”. Compounded by a self-righteous voiceover that muffles even the slightest hint of ambiguity or dimension for argument, and you’re left with a film that minimizes conversation by disregarding contextual realities in favor of a singular perspective. Whereas festival films like Dominga Sotomayor Castillo’s Too Late to Die Young and Christian Petzold’s Transit rely on formal and narrative traditions to expound on new and intriguing ideas, [Censored] gravely narrows our aperture into the past, refusing to acknowledge anything outside its thesis.