Pier Paolo Pasolini's controversial Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom has had a checkered history with Australian censors to say the least. Fantastic resource site Refused Classification has a thorough breakdown of the multiple times it has been banned, rated, re-banned, re-rated and banned again. Hopefully this is the last time we hear of the controversy now that it has been unbanned and given an R18+ rating.
Explains Refused Classification:
The Director of the Classification Board, Donald McDonald has stated that the R18+ version was rated because of:
.... the inclusion of 176 minutes of additional material which provided a context to the feature film, mitigating its impact.
Similar reasoning was used to allow I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE to be rated in 2004. It was thought that the extra commentary material on the Force Entertainment DVD was enough to allow an R18+ rating.
It's interesting that DVD bonus material is now being used to justify the film's rating. It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things as to why they chose to do it, but they have and that's good news. A cinema release, which sometimes happen when famously banned films get taken off the naughty list, seems all but out of the question since the only reason Salo has been unbanned is due to this DVD bonus material and, thus, the film cannot be legally exhibited in a cinema without bonus material attached.
I am sure someone will figure out a way to get around it. Advertise it as including the bonus material and then just have everyone leave after the movie is over for instance. Nevertheless, Pasolini's film will finally be available on DVD by SHOCK at some point and I can now go about not seeing the film because I choose to and not because I am being legally denied the right to see it by the wowsers at the Office of Film and Literature Classification.