Season : Screening Diversity

Screening Diversity

A Special Event at Chichester Cinema at New Park

In 1961 a British film challenged the prevailing view on homosexuality and helped to change the law, as recommended four years earlier in the report of the committee chaired by Lord Wolfenden. That film was ‘Victim’, starring Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms.

The Earl of Arran, who piloted the 1967 Sexual Offences Act through The House of Lords, told Bogarde how much he admired “your courage in taking on this difficult and potentially damaging part” which helped to swing public opinion in favour of reform. “It is comforting” Arran said “that perhaps a million men are no longer living in fear”.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act - and the 60th of the report itself - a screening of ‘Victim’ on Sat Feb 11 will be introduced by John Coldstream, Dirk Bogarde’s official biographer. A Q&A with Peter McEnery, who played Boy Barrett in the film, will follow.

And that’s not all! In subsequent weeks we will screen three other films: ‘Sapphire’, ‘The Children’s Hour’ and ‘The L-Shaped Room’; host a day-course with lead speaker Brian Robinson (BFI) looking at the links between film, censorship and public opinion in the early ‘60s; plus two more courses on Women in Cinema.