Icelandic Film Makers Speak Out Against Tobacco Proposal - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Film Makers Speak Out Against Tobacco Proposal

Published June 2, 2011

Icelandic film makers have harshly criticised a parliamentary proposal
on the sale and use of tobacco, as part of the plan would be to end the
depiction of people smoking in movies.
As Grapevine reported, a parliamentary proposal – a long-term government plan, and
not a bill to be voted into law – regarding tobacco use and supported by
MPs from every party has outlined a 10-year plan to restrict the sale
and use of tobacco. Part of this proposal would include prohibiting
Icelandic films from showing people smoking tobacco.
Eyjan reports that two of Iceland’s biggest film makers have spoken out against the proposal in no uncertain terms.
“Spewing smoke would be smarter than [this proposal],” said Friðrík Þór
Friðríksson, who made such films as Angels of the Universe and Cold
Fever. “Angels of the Universe would not have been the same had I not
been able to let the actors smoke. I’ve never smoked but this proposal
is nonsense.”
Director Baltasar Kormákur agreed, saying, “It is a dangerous step,
proposing that funding for films and plays that depict smoking be
stopped. What next? Should they ban the use of alcohol on the big screen
and movies that have swearing? Movies should not be tools for
propaganda but rather reflect society.”
As it is, the proposal is still up for a vote. If it manages a
parliamentary majority, no restrictions on the sale or use of tobacco
would go into effect unless and until individual bills on tobacco were introduced and voted into law.

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