A 12-year-old Brooke Shields appears naked in Pretty Baby. In the context of the film, the nude scenes do not appear to be designed to appeal to prurient interests; rather, they seem to be either ‘nudes’ in the classical sense, or realistic portrayals of how people do things. But I don’t get off on 12-year-olds, so naturally I would not see anything offensive or sexually arousing in the scenes.
Still, there are people out there who do like little girls. To me, the scenes are ‘art’. To these other people, they are sources of sexual gratification. In other words, the scenes do appeal to prurient interests of a small segment of society. Given that many of our laws are based on the least common denominator, it seems to me that these scenes must be considered child pornography. (IIRC, there is no sexual contact depicted – basically a classical nude pose, and Shields running to a door.) If Louis Malle made the film today, they’d lock him up and put him on a list.
I know the film was controversial nearly 30 years ago, but it was still released and seems to have passed the censorship/legal muster. Today though, laws are much more strict. Why haven’t people (recently) tried to have it banned?