Censored Books to Film Series

In partnership with Epsilon Spires, the Brattleboro Literary Festival, presents a new series showcasing film adaptations of banned books. Our first screening will be on Friday, December 1st. Popcorn and refreshments provided! Admission is free with a copy of the book. Screenwriter and producer Tim Metcalfe and writer and film buff Tom Bedell will introduce the film.



Fahrenheit 451 is a 1966 dystopian sci-fi film directed by French New-Wave Auteur François Truffaut, starring Julie Christie, Oskar Werner, and Cyril Cusack. Based on the 1953 novel by Ray Bradbury, set within a tightly controlled future where the government deploys “firemen” to incinerate all literature to prevent any independent thinking that books would encourage that could come to question or challenge the established order. Fahrenheit 451 presents a disconnected society where technology and media creates a pacifying virtual world far from the disturbing truths of reality. In the novel, Bradbury portrays television and mass media as a distracting veil that obscures real experience and interferes with the viewers’ ability to think deeply about societal issues or act with agency over their own lives.

History of Censorship:

“Ironic as it may seem given the role that book burning plays in the novel itself, Fahrenheit 451 has faced multiple censorship and banning attempts throughout the years, primarily for vulgarity and discussions about drugs. In 1967, and edition known as the “Bal-Hi edition” censored swear words and changed “drunk man” to sick man. In a similar instance in 1992, obscenities were once again censored by the school system. A more recent attempted happened in 2006 where the novel was challenged in Texas for going against religious beliefs (because a Bible was banned and burned) in addition to the common criticism that the novel contains “dirty talk”. Despite the efforts by parents and schools to ban or at least censor the book, any censorship made did not last long due to complaints by teachers or other parents.” –Banned Books Project, Carnegie Mellon University

Ray Bradbury

Francois Truffaut