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Mata Hari (1931) Review

Kate: irl mean anime girlJan 17, 2021, 9:33:18 AM

Garbo shines so brilliantly, it's blinding. Sometimes I watch performances by so-called great actresses, and don’t feel the magnetism that everyone else seems to rave about (Garbo in Anna Karenina or Katharine Hepburn in everything I've seen her in, for instance) but here, I felt it.

I weep over the story, and also over the censorship. To think we can't see her full dance, or the full extent of the romance of what is in my opinion one of the greatest and most romantic Garbo films is utterly heartbreaking. But what is also heartbreaking is seeing modern critics and ‘media personalities’ defends other media being censored in 2020 in the exact same ways that this film was censored post-Hays Code. These SJW "critics" will write think pieces about how Garbo is a glorious queer icon or whatever, but at the same time justify, defend and perpetuate the exact same methods and systems used by others that gave us the long reign of censorship that deprives us of her full works.

I've got in arguments online over media censorship, like the removing of features and changing of character designs in Japanese video games when they are brought over to English speaking countries, and constantly hear the argument that it's just 'localisation'. If you really think about it, Mata Hari was released as it was intended, and then “localised” for post-Code audiences, and it's truly a most disgusting display. "Ummm just learn Japanese to play this game uncensored" is the modern "just access the secret vault of a private collector to see the full dance sequence".

Eventually the person arguing with me, (a rather well known youtuber called Big Joel or something) admitted 'actually, the Hays Code was fine because it’s not censorship if it wasn’t the government' which is true, the Hays Code wasn’t the government and any defence of censorship with 'it’s not being done by the government so it’s fine' should be immediately seen as a defence of the Hays Code. These types are so addicted to defending the censorship of gaming in the eternal name of their weirdo feminist social justice morality, even though the same desperate and pathetic appeals to morality deprives us of the full romance and beauty of Garbo in Mata Hari.

Anyway, this was amazing. Perhaps one day, we will see a version that isn't the result of moralising losers crippling a woman's work. I hope the same for all art butchered and 'localised' by losers and frauds.