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Where the sin comes sweeping down the plains.

BANNED IN OKLAHOMA, a documentary film covering the TIN DRUM controversy, will be screened at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on June 12 2004 as the featured film of the Dead Center Film Festival. Filmed over a seven year period, BANNED IN OKLAHOMA covers each stage in the myriad of moral and legal battles involving the 1979 German film THE TIN DRUM. Along with the major litigants, BANNED features such notables as Gerry Spence and Anita Hill.

[More information about the film screening.]

The film’s writer/director, Gary D. Rhodes, will appear in person at the screening.

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A thirty-minute version of BANNED IN OKLAHOMA is included as a Special Feature on the new DVD release of the Tin Drum from the prestigious Criterion Collection (available May 17 2004). The version to be screened will be an extended edit.

[More information about the Criterion Collection edition.]


Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News "[...] in 1996, an Oklahoma district judge decided The Tin Drum was child pornography, and Oklahoma city police seized videotapes from store shelves and residents' homes. The 'Twilight Zone' of what happened next is chronicled in the excellent 30-minute documentary Banned in Oklahoma, the best special feature in Criterion's loaded two-disc "Drum" set. This is a rare case when you might want to dip into the second disc before watching the main attraction. Gary D. Rhodes' Banned in Oklahoma is up to tackling the rich irony of banning a German film about book-burning Nazis, an irony lost on the decency guardians of Oklahoma Children and Families, which spearheaded the effort to purge The Tin Drum from libraries, stores, and homes. More impressive still, the documentary refuses to make the censors look like straw-man buffoons [...]"

Oklahoma City Gazette Cover Story, June 9 2004

The Tin Drum Revisited:
'Banned in Oklahoma,' screening at the 2004 deadCenter Film Festival, tells story of how a rented copy of 'The Tin Drum' made headlines.

By Doug Bentin.


Col Bob Anderson of Oklahomans for Children and Families (OCAF) who led the march against the film.
Press conference of Michael Camfield after losing his fourth amendment illegal search and seizure case against the three police officers who confiscated the tape from him. To the right is his lead counsel, Michael Salem.
Camfield at the Statue of Liberty, 2001.
Camfield in front of his apartment in the spot where the three police officers appeared on June 25, 1997 to confiscate his rented copy of the film.
Camfield in 1999 holding a copy of the TIN DRUM video shortly after it became legal again.
Stacks of TIN DRUM VHS copies in the New York City warehouse of Kino Video, the distributor of the film, whose sales skyrocketed after the controversy.
David Bennent as Oskar screaming in a famous moment from the 1979 film.
David Bennent as Oskar with his ever-present tin drum.

Last Updated: June 9, 2004

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