Reviews and Festivals
"Cinematic provocateur, Baltimore native, and director John Waters lends needed humor and a dose of common sense here...The video is recommended for mature audiences."
— Library Journal
"Recommended. Provides a solid overview of the history of U.S. film censorship, touching on major milestones such as the risque films of the Pre-Code era, as well as imported works that sparked legal challenges. Along the way, Sickies Making Films raises questions about who should be making censorship decisions and under what criteria. For those unaware of the history of U.S. cinema censorship, this well-crafted documentary delivers a solid introduction to the subject."
— Video Librarian
"Highly Recommended. Provides a wealth of information documenting both film censorship in the United States writ large and film censorship in Maryland specifically...[John] Waters providing some of the wittiest commentary in the film...Essential for film studies programs, but likely of interest to journalism and media studies scholars as well...provides another piece of the film censorship puzzle, nicely complementing Kirby Dick's examination of the Motion Picture Association of America in This Is Not Yet Rated (2007). Public libraries would also find a likely audience for this well-produced documentary."
— Educational Media Reviews Online
"A movie for enthusiasts and lovers of film and film history."
"From the specific realm of the Maryland Board of Censors to broad applications of the First Amendment, this documentary explores the wide scope of film censorship from a variety of perspectives."
— Office for Intellectual Freedom of the ALA
"Illuminating...Provides interesting case studies from Ecstasy to The Outlaw and Pinky to show how movies created in other states faced exhibition hurdles in Maryland...Really hits its stride when it focuses on Maryland Censor czar Mary Avara, a larger than life Italian woman who deemed many films to be obscene and took great joy in doing so...Enjoyable documentary."
— Film International
"A MUST SEE for all film enthusiasts. A love letter to the movies"
— Film Invasion LA
"Stylish documentary...Tropea keeps things lively by deploying a combination of talking head interviews (including film historians, theater owners, politicians, and [John] Waters himself), old film and TV footage, original illustrations, and the kind of kitschy tableaus of documents, pens, and clippings that would make Wes Anderson proud."
— Baltimore Magazine
"Must-see for its insights into the complicated reasons that Americans have tried to keep other citizens from watching movies they personally find distasteful for religious, moral, or aesthetic reasons...Director Tropea traces the agonizing history of domestic film censorship right down to the game-changing 1950s Supreme Court decision that ended Hollywood's ongoing attempts to placate local censors"
— The Bay Area Reporter
"Hilarious and informative"
— Film Pulse
"Recounts the history of film censorship and skillfully traces its evolution from the founding of the movie industry right up till the present time. It's a treasure chest of information and done in a very entertaining way. Film buffs are going to love it."
— Baltimore Post Examiner
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Sidewalk Film Festival
Maryland Film Festival
Film Invasion Los Angeles
Revelation Perth International Film Festival
Sydney Underground Film Fest