GREATER Dandenong Council has pulled a video depicting human executions from its civic square big-screen.
A visitor to the square noted a short scene of still-images within the 4 minute 31 second video that featured an etching of a human head held up in the air to a watching crowd at a guillotining, and a photograph from behind of a group of people being hanged.
The video titled ‘Are you Romantic or Classical?’ was shown about 10.40am on 29 July at the council’s Harmony Square big-screen.
The screen faces the entrance to Dandenong Library, which hosts families and pre-school children during the day.
“It was wildly inappropriate,” the visitor said.
“Not what Harmony Square is all about.
“I was shocked to see it as children often sit with families to watch the screen.”
The council pulled the video from screening on Tuesday afternoon. It estimates the film had played up to twice a week since mid May as part of a random pool of 30 School of Life videos.
Corporate Services director Mick Jaensch said no complaints had been lodged to the council about the scene, which lasts several seconds.
He said it was an “educational piece” made by The School of Life.
“They are historical images to illustrate the difference between two predominate (sic) schools of thought of the last few centuries.”
Mr Jaensch said the council checked all content prior to showing it on the big screen.
“After an internal review we can understand that the content in question could cause discomfort with some members of the community, and as such have removed it from the screen program.”
Mr Jaensch said the council had an understanding, not a commercial agreement, with The School of Life to screen educational content.
A council spokeswoman said the video was part of a School of Life “package” screening daily between 10.30 and 11.30am.
“During this time, approximately six pieces out of a pool of 30 are chosen at random.
“Not all content published by the School of Life is appropriate for public display, so each potential piece is carefully critiqued before screened.”
The School of Life, on its website, describes itself as being devoted to developing emotional intelligence.
Its Australian director Kaj Lofgren said it was “not aware of – nor have we had any involvement in – the recent screening of our video Are You Romantic or Classical in Dandenong.”
He said the school produced a large range of films that explored the issues and pre-occupations of modern life.
“They vary from the very playful to the very serious and are available to worldwide audiences through The School of Life’s YouTube channel.”
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