P.I.U. File No. 3730-2/64T-1356



Material detained on Friday October 6, 2000.
Material seized on Wednesday December 20, 2000.
Material seized by Compliance Verification Officer (CVO) # 8368.
Appeal filed on Thursday March 15, 2001.
Appeal judgement issued on Wednesday April 18, 2001.
[Cover letter falsely dated as Saturday April 7, 2001.]


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Inferno of Torture (P.I.U. File No. 3730-2/64T-1356)
Lynch: The Yakuza Torture (P.I.U. File No. 3730-2/64T-1356)




I.   [deleted]


II.   False/Dishonest Determination of Tariff Classification


A.   Portrayals of Sex as Peripheral

    Compliance Verification Officer #8368 has alleged that "the portrayal of sex [is] the main object" of both Inferno of Torture and Lynch: The Yakuza Torture. Frankly, either Officer #8368 is lying – presumably because, were (s)he not to allege this, then neither of the two aforementioned motion pictures (be they in the medium of videocassette or otherwise) could be classified as (tariff item No. 9899.00.00) prohibited goods under (the List of Provisions to) the Customs Tariff – or else (s)he is afflicted with a form of mental illness – be it sexual monomania, (mild) psychosis, or otherwise – that causes her/him to imagine that sexual content exists in (certain) materials where, in reality, it does not, and/or to have a grossly exaggerated view of how central to their identity any sexual content is that they may, in reality, possess. The portrayal of sex (let alone the exploitation of it, which is what is legally relevant) is not the "main object" of either Inferno of Torture or Lynch: The Yakuza Torture, nor is it even – to employ the same Butleresque language – the secondary object of either; rather, it is peripheral to both. (With regard to the sexual settings in Inferno of Torture, I refer you to the accompanying excerpt from Mieko Yamada’s "Japanese Tattooing from the Past to the Present".) In Lynch: The Yakuza Torture, for example, there are no depictions of sexual acts (although there are a few brief depictions of preludes to such acts) in the first two of the three stories in it, which together comprise approximately two-thirds of it; as for the third story, the few depictions of sexual acts in it (which are all soft-core, and in which nudity doesn’t go beyond momentarily showing women’s exposed breasts) together do not last for more than two minutes – this in a video that has a quasi-exact running time of 95 minutes, 18 seconds!


B.   R. v. Butler and "Explicit Sex" With Violence, Degradation, and/or Dehumanization

    That a motion picture contains scenes of simulated violence and/or bondage/external control that have a sexual context is highly unlikely to render it obscene under Canadian law if: i) it doesn’t contain any hard-core pornographic scenes (keep in mind that a hard-core pornographic scene necessarily is more sexually explicit than a soft-core one); ii) it doesn’t contain any scenes in which genitalia and/or anal regions (as distinguished from buttocks) are shown; and iii) the portrayal (again, let alone the exploitation) of sex is not its main object. The relevance of i) and ii) is that the degree of sexual explicitness is a factor in determining whether a violent, degrading, and/or dehumanizing sexually exploitative motion picture is legally obscene. (The explicitness of the violence, degradation, and/or dehumanization also is a factor.) In fact, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Butler that the sex must, at the very least, meet the legal standard of "explicit" in this context. In R. v. Sharpe, the Court defined "explicit sex" as "intimate sexual activity represented in a graphic and unambiguous fashion."

    As noted above, the portrayal of sex is not the main object of either Inferno of Torture or Lynch: The Yakuza Torture. In addition, neither contains any hard-core pornographic scenes, nor scenes in which genitalia and/or anal regions are shown. Furthermore, although I’m not familiar with the fine details of Inferno of Torture, I highly doubt that there are any scenes of "explicit sex" with bondage/external control in it. (Officer #8368 indicated on the relevant K27 form that Inferno of Torture is legally obscene because it contains one or more depictions of "sex with bondage/external control".) As for Lynch: The Yakuza Torture, I know that there aren’t any scenes of "explicit sex" with violence and/or bondage/external control in it; there is merely: i) a scene involving an adult male character and an adult female one, in which the man is shown grabbing the woman, throwing her to the floor of his bedroom, and then smacking her once, across the face; it’s implied that they proceed to have sex; and ii) a sequence involving an adult male character and an adult female one, in which the man is shown kissing the woman in the TV room of an apartment; then, twenty-two (22) seconds later, he is shown holding her by her right ankle (she essentially is prone at this time) in the apartment’s bathroom, as he uses a hand-held shower head to spray her with water. (Officer #8368 indicated on the relevant K27 form that Lynch: The Yakuza Torture is legally obscene because it contains one or more depictions of "sex with violence", and one or more depictions of "sex with bondage/external control". I hereby request that Officer #8368 be transferred out of the Prohibited Importations Unit, on the grounds that, at best, (s)he is grossly incompetent at determining the proper tariff classification of motion pictures.)


C.   [deleted]


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