The Film and Publication Board (FPB) has on Thursday, issued a responding affidavit distancing themselves from the Appeals Tribunal following a law suit filed by the Inxeba – The Wound producers.
The Appeals Tribunal overturned the FPB’s classification rating of 16 LS and gave the film a rating of X18, classifying the film in the same category as hardcore pornography. This meant that the film had to be removed from all cinemas and could only be found at adult shops.
The FPB said in their affidavit their Council and Board were separate entities from the Appeals Tribunal and they did not agree with the censorship.
“It is important that the position of the Board should be made clear in public. The FPB does not support the award,” FPB in the affidavit.
The FPB further stated they did not agree with the X rating and had never rated the film X but 16LS instead, and made it clear the X rating was imposed by the Tribunal and it was not a rating requested by the complainants.
The Appeals Tribunal overturned the FPB’s classification rating of 16 LS and gave the film a rating of X18, classifying the film in the same category as hardcore pornography.
Some of the reasons for the X18 rating that were given by the Appeals Tribunal were that there was a misrepresentation of traditional initiation practice; the movie shows explicit sexual activities; there are scenes of violence, substance and alcohol abuse; and there was use of degrading language towards Xhosa women and girls.
The Congress of Traditional Leaders (Contralesa) Gauteng, The Man and Boy Foundation and The Appeals Tribunal filed notice that they would oppose the interdict.
“Given the current rating of the film, it is also illegal and a criminal offence punishable by a five-year prison sentence to view it anywhere on any platform, either free or paid for, legitimate or pirated. We are working hard to find legal means to make it available to fans,” said Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution.
Kuun also noted with concern that while Contralesa Gauteng and The Man and Boy Foundation, both of which filed an appeal with the tribunal based on the perceived cultural insensitivity towards the Xhosa initiation tradition, requested a revised rating of 18, the Appeals Tribunal reclassified the film as X18.
“We find this ruling sinister, as the ‘X18’ rating was not requested by the appellants, and it cannot be reasonably justified by anyone who has seen the film,” Kuun added. “It is also worrying that the Appeals Tribunal reached this decision without giving the distributor and producer a proper opportunity to make submissions on the matter. This is plainly unlawful.”
Kuun said Indigenous Film Distribution and producers Urucu Media would be in court next week.