July 21, 2008

Life of Brian Actress Bids to Lift Ban

One of the stars of the controversial film Life of Brian is to look into lifting a long-standing ban on it in the town she presides in as mayor.

Sue Jones-Davies, the mayor of Aberystwyth, West Wales, rose to fame when she played the part of Judith, Brian's girlfriend, in the 1979 Monty Python hit comedy.

In the film, Monty Python stalwart Graham Chapman is the reluctant messiah Brian, born on Christmas Day in the Roman- occupied Judea. The film caused outrage among Christians all over the world who complained its content was blasphemous. As a result some areas, including Aberystwyth, prevented the film from being shown in cinemas.

The ban in the coastal town popular with students still stands to this day, nearly 30 years after the film's release.

Sue Jones-Davies, who is a Plaid Cymru town councillor and yoga teacher these days, said she is going to investigate the possibility of lifting the ban. The 59-year-old mother-ofthree and grandmother- of-one said: "I didn't even know about the ban until Friday. It isn't something I have been worrying about.

"It is intriguing to think it is banned but I suppose these things come into place and, unless they are revoked, the ban remains.

"Maybe you can still get prosecuted for showing it. I think it has been shown in the town before but it was shown quietly.

"We are talking 30 years ago now and things have moved on rapidly in terms of censorship.

"I think then it was to do the religious controversy rather than the nudity but you could say in respect of the religious side that it has become more controversial with it being so much to the fore.

"I think anything should be strong enough to take this sort of probing. That is my opinion and it is not shared with everybody.

"I don't think it would harm the religious faith. I'm going to talk to my town clerk Jim Griffiths on Monday and we will be investigating."

Ms Jones-Davies, whose eldest son Siencyn Langham is an editor for Channel Four's Shameless, said if the ban was to be overturned they could possibly arrange a screening and donate the proceeds to charity.

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