'American Beauty' too hot to handle for German schools

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24 Jan, 2009 Updated Sat 24 Jan 2009 13:32 CEST
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Authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia are considering dropping the film „American Beauty“ from the English curriculum for final secondary school exams after complaints it was too risqué, Der Spiegel reported.

The school ministry in the western German state is examining a complaint by a former teacher about the dark comedy about American suburbia, the magazine reported on Saturday.

The film by British director Sam Mendes won five Oscars and is recommended for viewing above the age of 16 in Germany.

The story revolves around a depressed suburban father in a midlife crisis Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, who develops an infatuation for his teenage daughter’s attractive friend. The critically acclaimed film features a few nude scenes, violence, profanities and teenagers smoking pot all set around a dysfunctional family.

That apparently goes too far for some. The magazine reported that the school ministry is now considering using another film to test students in English in 2011 so that schools don’t have to deal with “American Beauty” in classrooms.

Der Spiegel said that some in the school administration weren’t happy with the move to possibly drop the film. They were quoted as saying they were “strongly reminded of similar conservative decisions in the 1950s and 1960s.”



2009/01/24 13:32

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