MPs label film controversial but few bother to see it

MPs label film controversial but few bother to see it

A special screening of Young People Fucking, the film at the center of the Bill C-10 debate, was held in Ottawa on Thursday at the World Exchange Plaza in Ottawa. However, very few of the 40 high-ranking politicians that signed-up actually attended. Nonetheless, the theatre was packed with young parliamentary aides and assistants, including Victoria […]

A special screening of Young People Fucking, the film at the center of the Bill C-10 debate, was held in Ottawa on Thursday at the World Exchange Plaza in Ottawa. However, very few of the 40 high-ranking politicians that signed-up actually attended.

Nonetheless, the theatre was packed with young parliamentary aides and assistants, including Victoria van Eyk. Van Eyk was the assistant to Conservative MP Gary Goodyear until earlier last week, when she was fired for ordering tickets to the show under her boss’ name.

The film’s distributor set up the screening so politicians could judge the controversy over the film for themselves, rather than rely on the word of opponents who are mostly basing their opinions on the title.

Young People Fucking has been used as an example by proponents of Bill C-10, which would allow the Heritage Minister power to deny tax credits to Canadian television and film products deemed offensive or contrary to public policy – even if government agencies have already invested in them.

The website describes the film as “a scathingly honest and hilarious portrayal of four couples, one threesome and a crazy night of sex.” The filmmakers have insisted the comedy about sexual relationships isn’t pornographic and they wanted to prove it by showing the movie to those who might be voting on the bill.

After the screening, NDP MP Bill Siksay said, “I think it was a great film that’s going to make a lot of people laugh.” The MP who is also the NDP’s heritage critic added, “What I would find offensive is that anybody would try and enforce their own sense of personal taste to prohibit a movie like that from being made.”

Liberal MP Denis Coderre said he did not attend the screening just to see the film. “I think that the reason why I’m here is to send a clear message that I don’t want to have a Canada with censorship,” he said. “I want to have my own capacity to critique the movie afterwards, but I’m not Mr. Censor.”

Several Conservative MPs were amongst the 40 MPs and senators that originally signed up to see the film; however, they later said their names were listed by mistake and they had no intention of attending the screening.

Director, co-writer and executive producer Martin Gero first screened his feature directorial debut at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. The film will be released theatrically by Maple Pictures June 13.