Police in Sydney, Australia, last night (3JUL03) raided a public screening of KIDS helmer Larry Clark's controversial movie Ken Park and confiscated a print of the film.

Ken Park was in effect banned in Australia last month (JUN03) after the OFFICE OF FILM AND LITERATURE CLASSIFICATION (OFLC) refused it a certificate. Under Australian law, the organisers of last night's screening face a A$11,000 ($7,184/GBP4,490) fine or up to a year in prison.

The illicit screening had been organised by a group calling itself Free CINEMA, and was held in a town hall near the centre of Sydney. But the opening credits had barely rolled before police broke into the crowded cinema and halted the show. Several organisers were later held for questioning.

Justifying its refusal to award the film a certificate, the OFLC said that Ken Park features "child sex abuse, actual sex by people depicted as minors and sexualised violence".

It added that the movie's scenes "offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults".

The decision led to Ken Park being pulled from the schedule at the recent Sydney film festival.

Larry Clark is no stranger to controversy. His 1995 debut Kids caused a furore with its beady-eyed view of a lusty teenager in New York, while his last film BULLY caused outrage with depictions of sex, drugs and violence among the young.

04/07/2003 14:01