Visions of Ecstasy invited to resubmit to BBFC

The director of the only film to be banned in the UK on the grounds of blasphemy has been invited by the British Board of Film Classification to resubmit his work with a view to permitting its release.

Visions of Ecstasy, directed by Nigel Wingrove, was refused classification in 1989 because the BBFC considered its mix of soft-porn and religion might offend the Anglican church. The decision was eventually upheld by the European Court of Human Rights. Now, with the blasphemy law due to be repealed in June, Craig Lapper of the board’s examining body has asked Wingrove to have another go.

So far, Wingrove appears undecided whether or not to resubmit the film.

Here is a synopsis, taken from the Melon Farmers’ summary of the ECHR case:

The action of the film centres upon a youthful actress dressed as a nun and intended to represent St Teresa. It begins with the nun, dressed loosely in a black habit, stabbing her own hand with a large nail and spreading her blood over her naked breasts and clothing. In her writhing, she spills a chalice of communion wine and proceeds to lick it up from the ground. She loses consciousness. This sequence takes up approximately half of the running time of the video. The second part shows St Teresa dressed in a white habit standing with her arms held above her head by a white cord which is suspended from above and tied around her wrists. The near-naked form of a second female, said to represent St Teresa’s psyche, slowly crawls her way along the ground towards her. Upon reaching St Teresa’s feet, the psyche begins to caress her feet and legs, then her midriff, then her breasts, and finally exchanges passionate kisses with her. Throughout this sequence, St Teresa appears to be writhing in exquisite erotic sensation. This sequence is intercut at frequent intervals with a second sequence in which one sees the body of Christ, fastened to the cross which is lying upon the ground. St Teresa first kisses the stigmata of his feet before moving up his body and kissing or licking the gaping wound in his right side. Then she sits astride him, seemingly naked under her habit, all the while moving in a motion reflecting intense erotic arousal, and kisses his lips. For a few seconds, it appears that he responds to her kisses. This action is intercut with the passionate kisses of the psyche already described. Finally, St Teresa runs her hand down to the fixed hand of Christ and entwines his fingers in hers. As she does so, the fingers of Christ seem to curl upwards to hold with hers, whereupon the video ends.

Nigel, we want this up on YouTube forthwith!

Until then, readers will have to make do with this:

UPDATE: (21:30) In what could be taken as an example of the insouciance with which the mainstream media is now treating the idea of blasphemy – at least as far as Christianity is concerned – the print version of this Observer story is illustrated with a still from the film. It shows a comely young St Teresa straddling the crucified Saviour in what appears to be the act of sexual congress.


3 Responses to “Visions of Ecstasy invited to resubmit to BBFC”

  1. heather says:

    Swings and roundabouts:- It’s good to see a stupid blasphemy ban get reversed.
    But this sounds, on the synopsis, to be a film that is almost transcendently shit.

  2. Joe says:

    Yes, I’ve seen some of Wingrove’s films and they are truly fuck-awful. He’s like a straight Derek Jarman without the talent, visual imagination or wit.

  3. Shannon says:

    Who really cares if the movie/video is bad as long as it is blaphemous! The point is that blasphemy is now openly allowed and embraced without restriction. That’s the important (and best!) part.