A compelling examination of the ongoing battle between religious fundamentalists (whose goal is to clean up modern society) and the artists, homosexuals, minorities and feminists whose cries of censorship are heard throughout the U.S.
Comedian Jimmy Tingle takes a wry but serious look at the diversity of people and cultures that make up modern America: from Elvis Presley’s Mississippi, to 2 Live Crew’s studios in Miami, to New York and the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe. It would have been nice if this bracingly lucid film had been around when those stories were still front-page news … And it would have been – if the film itself had not been tied up in litigation.
After winning the International Emmy for Outstanding Arts Documentary, “Damned in the USA” became the target of an $8 million suit filed by the Rev. Donald Wildmon, American Family Association president and spokesman for so-called morality in art. Wildmon called the movie “blasphemous and obscene,” and managed to delay its release, and thus “Damned in the USA” joined Mapplethorpe, Serrano and company (the subjects in the film) on the list of victims in what Wildmon himself describes as “a cultural war for the hearts and souls of the nation.”
“Damned in the USA” is unrated, but contains art and/or pornography, depending on how you look at it.