Forbidden Reading is a Canadian documentary dealing with the dangers of censorship. “Danger in a book lies in the eye of the censor.” This program hosted by Alberto Manguel takes a broad look at forbidden reading through examples of people willing to risk grave civil and criminal penalties in order to be heard: Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin, who writes in hiding due to an Islamic sentence of death; Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas, whose video posts of police brutality have drawn intense governmental scrutiny; Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose controversial depiction of the prophet Mohammad caused an international furor; and the Grove Press’s Barney Rosset, who fought to publish the works of Henry Miller and D. H. Lawrence in defiance of the Comstock Law. Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, called scandalous in its time, is also discussed, as is Nazi book burning.

Contains mature themes and explicit language and imagery. Also contains brief scenes of violence. A part of the series Empire of the Word: A Reader’s Journey. (52 minutes)

Director: Mark Johnston
Writer: Mark Johnston
Star: Alberto Manguel