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Publishing/Production: Down There Press: Press Releases: Herotica Movie Debut Stands Against Censorship

For Immediate Release

September 10, 1999

For more information:
Leigh Davidson
(415) 974-8985 ext 205

Herotica Movie Debut Stands Against Censorship

Keep an eye out for Herotica® (Down There Press) in the movie Better Than Chocolate! The classic first volume of the popular series of erotic fiction for and by women appears twice.

Ten Percent Books, the fictional bookstore based on Little Sisters bookstore in Vancouver, fights the very real battle of books seized by Canadian Customs. Herotica, in real life, had been seized for years by Canadian Customs with many other books. Little Sisters waged a hard-fought battle in the early 1990s to successfully import gay, lesbian, and sexually themed books into Canada. Nonetheless, Canadian Customs continues to sporadically stop certain titles, despite the Canadian Supreme Court's ruling against their practice.

Herotica's first appearance is on a faxed list of books held by Customs. Later in the movie, in a bold political and artistic statement about censorship, Herotica is frozen into an ice sculpture display for Ten Percent Books with other books seized by Customs. Anal Pleasure & Health, another title from Down There Press, is also mentioned several times as a fictional title "Anal Health and Pleasures."

Censorship at the border isn't limited to Canada. Last Gasp, a San Francisco based independent distributor and publisher, has been unsuccessful in negotiating with French Customs to allow importation of several titles that have been seized, including many titles from Down There Press. According to Erick Gilbert, foreign sales representative for Last Gasp, France has no official policies on censorship of literature that deals with "body piercing, tattooing and alternative sex" (Publishers Weekly, July 5, 1999), yet they continue to ban books dealing with these subjects.