South Africa 6.3.2018 11:40 am

Inxeba loses porn rating, for now

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An interdict meant the Xhosa initiation film can now be screened at public cinemas, though the matter remains before court.

The High Court in Pretoria has granted a temporary interdict, allowing the controversial Xhosa initiation film Inxeba (The Wound) to be shown in cinemas with an 18 age restriction pending further litigation.

An application by the producers and distributors of the film – Indigenous Film Distribution Ltd and Urucu Media Ltd – to review the classification of the move as hardcore pornography, which meant it could then be viewed only at adult premises or sex shops, will be heard in the High Court on 28 March.

Pending the outcome of the review, the producers and the Film and Publication Board have agreed that the film may be shown in cinemas with an 18 SLNVP rating.

The managing director of Indigenous Films, Helen Kuun, said in court papers that while Inxeba had provoked public discussion and controversy, it was beyond question that it was a serious work of dramatic merit.

Inxeba was selected by the National Film and Video Foundation as South Africa’s nomination for the 2018 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. It made the short list of nine films for the Oscars and won 20 awards in South Africa and globally.

The Film and Publication Board initially classified it as 16 LS but the Appeal Tribunal overturned the decisions months later and classified it s X 18 SLNVP, resulting in the movie being withdrawn from the public circuit.

Kuun said the X-rating, which was usually reserved for pornographic films, radically restricted the ability of even adults to view the film as it meant it could not be viewed in cinemas, but only at licensed adult premises such as sex shops.

She said this in effect meant that, at best, Inxeba could be sold on DVD at sex shops and would result in the bulk of the time and money spent on producing the film being wasted.

Inxeba is an international co-production between South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands and France and explores themes of masculinity, tradition and homosexuality.

The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa and human rights-based organisation Man and Boy Foundation have strenuously objected to, among other things, the homosexuality depicted in the film, the portrayal of sex at initiation schools, the violence, vulgar language and alleged disrespect shown to women.

Colourfully dressed members of the foundation yesterday protested at court with placards demanding that the film should be banned altogether.

More controversy as ‘Inxeba’ is reclassified 18 SLNVP film

 

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