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Sean Grandchamp
Sean Grandchamp

Maladolescenza: A Controversial Film That Shocked the World

Maladolescenza Full Movie: A Controversial Film That Shocked the World

Maladolescenza is a 1977 film directed by Pier Giuseppe Murgia. The film tells the story of three children: Sylvia, Laura and Fabrizio, who spend their summer in a forest, playing games of love and cruelty. The film caused significant controversy because of its simulated sex scenes involving underage actresses. Because of these scenes, it was banned in several countries, being labeled as child pornography.

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What is Maladolescenza about?

The film follows the relationship between Laura (Lara Wendel) and Fabrizio (Martin Loeb), who have been meeting every summer in the forest by her parents' summer home. Fabrizio is a solitary boy with only his dog for company; Laura is a sweet girl, but she lacks confidence. This summer new aspects enter into their story as both are growing up. The film represents them as part child, part adult. Part naive, part knowing.

Laura is falling in love with Fabrizio, while he displays a new sexual awareness of her masked by his malice. Fabrizio becomes inexplicably cruel. He accelerates his unwarranted torment of Laura in many ways, including tying her up and putting a snake near her and killing a pet bird she is fond of. Fabrizio prides himself on being 'king of the forest' and rubbishes Laura's tender attempts to be his queen.

One day they climb the "Blue Mountain", a mysterious tall mountain at the forest's edge and discover ancient building ruins. Exploring these they find a cave. Inside, Fabrizio seduces Laura. Fabrizio's cruel streak is boosted by his new sexual confidence. At one point he virtually forces himself on Laura, much to her upset. He does relent when she makes it clear she wants Fabrizio to be gentle with her, which he ridicules.

Things develop further when they meet Sylvia (Eva Ionesco). Unlike the previously virginal Laura, Sylvia is confident and assertive. Fabrizio develops a fascination with her, eventually bribing Laura to fetch her to the forest to join them in play. Sylvia, aware of Fabrizio's interest in her, asserts herself in his affections, quickly replacing Laura and demoting her to servant and victim, which Fabrizio takes delight in.

Laura, reluctant to leave her old friend and new lover, stays and becomes the target of the duo's ever progressing cruelty. At one point, they both 'hunt' Laura with bows and arrows and at another, pretend to throw her off a high ledge. They make love in front of her, insisting her punishment is that she must watch, leaving Laura confused and heartbroken.

At the end of summer, with the girls talking about returning to school, Fabrizio becomes pensive and agitated. He insists on taking Sylvia to the ruins for the first time. All three of them go into the cave to escape a thunderstorm and Fabrizio again pretends they are lost as he did with Laura.

The controversy of Maladolescenza

Maladolescenza has been one of the most controversial films in cinema history. The film was banned in several countries, including Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. The main reason for the ban was the depiction of explicit sexual scenes involving underage actors. The film was accused of being child pornography and violating the laws on child protection and obscenity.

The film was also criticized for its portrayal of violence, cruelty and incest. Some critics argued that the film was exploiting and harming the young actors, especially the girls. Others claimed that the film was glorifying pedophilia and encouraging sexual abuse of children. The film was also condemned for its lack of artistic merit and social value.

However, some defenders of the film argued that it was a misunderstood masterpiece that explored the themes of innocence, love and nature. They claimed that the film was not pornographic, but rather a realistic and poetic depiction of adolescent sexuality. They also pointed out that the film was made with the consent and supervision of the parents and guardians of the actors. They praised the film for its aesthetic beauty and artistic expression.

The actors of Maladolescenza

The actors of Maladolescenza were Lara Wendel, Eva Ionesco and Martin Loeb. Lara Wendel was born in 1965 in Munich, Germany. She started her acting career at the age of 11, appearing in several films and TV shows. She is best known for her roles in Maladolescenza, Tenebrae (1982) and The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974). She retired from acting in 1991 and became a photographer.

Eva Ionesco was born in 1965 in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Romanian-French photographer Irina Ionesco, who took erotic pictures of her when she was a child. She made her film debut in Maladolescenza at the age of 11, which caused controversy and legal issues. She later appeared in other films, such as Spermula (1976) and The Tenant (1976). She also became a director and writer, making films such as My Little Princess (2011) and Golden Youth (2019).

Martin Loeb was born in 1959 in Berlin, Germany. He was 18 years old when he starred in Maladolescenza, his only film role. He later became a painter and sculptor, living in Italy and France. He died in 2014 at the age of 55.

The legal issues of Maladolescenza

Maladolescenza faced several legal issues due to its controversial content. The film was banned or censored in many countries, such as Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. The film was also subject to lawsuits and criminal investigations, involving the director, the producer, the distributor and the actors.

In Germany, the film was confiscated by the authorities and declared as harmful to minors. The director and the producer were charged with producing and distributing child pornography. They were acquitted in 1984, but the film remained banned. In 1995, a court ruled that the film was not child pornography, but still harmful to minors. In 2006, another court upheld the ban and ordered the destruction of all copies of the film.

In Italy, the film was initially released with an X rating, but later banned by a court order. The director and the producer appealed the ban, but lost. In 1981, they were sentenced to two years and six months in prison for violating the law on obscenity. They were later pardoned by the president of Italy.

In France, the film was released with an 18 rating, but later banned by a court order. The distributor was fined for violating the law on child protection. The ban was lifted in 2001, but the film was still subject to restrictions.

In other countries, such as Spain, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, the film was released with cuts or edits to remove or reduce the explicit scenes. In some cases, the film was also retitled or re-dubbed to avoid controversy.

The soundtrack of Maladolescenza

The soundtrack of Maladolescenza was composed by Giuseppe "Pippo" Caruso and Jürgen Drews. Caruso was an Italian composer and conductor who worked on several films and TV shows. He also collaborated with famous singers such as Mina, Ornella Vanoni and Lucio Dalla. Drews was a German singer and songwriter who was part of the band Les Humphries Singers. He also had a successful solo career, becoming one of the most popular Schlager singers in Germany.