Les Amants (The Lovers)

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Date: 1964

Region: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality Nudity

Medium: Film Video


Lovers2.jpg

Artist: Louis Malle, Director (1932 - 1995)

Confronting Bodies: State of Ohio

Dates of Action: 1964

Location: The United States of America

Description of Artwork: Louis Malle's film, Les Amants (The Lovers) told the story of a bored, neglected, bourgeois house wife who falls for an irreverent young student. Although it celebrated the glories of adulterous love, Les Amants sexual explicitness is limited to a glimpse of the heroine's breast.

The Incident: In the case Jacobellis vs. Ohio, the State of Ohio used obscenity law to ban the film. Justice Brennen points out that the film must be utterly without social importance, and Justice Potter Stewart states, " I shall not here today attempt further to define (obscenity)...But I know it when I see it."

Results of Incident: In 1968 the Supreme Court reversed the obscenity conviction of the Ohio theater who exhibited Les Amants.

Source: New York Public Library, New York City