Between 1921 and 1965 government workers in New York reviewed every movie that was to be publicly screened in the state. Reviewers would determine if the films contained any scenes that they deemed to be indecent, immoral, inhumane, sacrilegious or likely to incite a crime. Over 44 years more than 73,000 films were evaluated and thousands of scenes were censored. For almost half of the last century, movie goers in New York saw only what the government allowed them to see. Governing Body is composed entirely of scenes that were censored through this process.
Governing Body is produced and directed by Julia Weist. Weist is primarily known for her visual artwork, which explores the practice of record keeping and its impact on shared systems of knowledge and power. Her work has been exhibited extensively and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among many other collections globally. Governing Body is produced by Archive Films and is distributed by The Size of Thoughts.