The Man and Boy Foundation has vowed to continue its battle to ban the controversial Xhosa film Inxeba (The Wound) from mainstream cinemas, despite a court ruling restoring the movie’s 16 LS rating.
The foundation’s executive director, Nkululeko Nxesi, said in a statement it intended going back to the Film and Publication Board to apply for the reclassification of the film, to put it in the category of hardcore pornography which can only be viewed at “adult premises”, such as sex shops.
Judge Joseph Raulinga this week set aside a decision by the board’s appeal tribunal, which imposed an X-rating on the film after complaints by the foundation and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa).
The judge found the two cultural organisations had no standing to appeal to the tribunal. The tribunal therefore had no jurisdiction to determine the appeal.
He said the organisations should have taken the board’s original 16 LS rating for the film on review if they were dissatisfied.
Raulinga, however, also said if cultural beliefs and practices were to be considered, the film was indeed harmful and disturbing, and exposed 16-year-olds to sexual conduct, including homosexual scenes.
He said the film included language degrading to Xhosa women, exposed women to societal violence such as rape and contained harmful scenes which could cause tensions within the Xhosa community and even within the broader African community.
Nxesi said they were “more than happy” that the judge had confirmed their argument that Inxeba was insulting and degrading to black African women and exposed them and young girls to sexual violence and assault, that it was a total misrepresentation, and disrespectful of the traditional initiation practice, and sought to dehumanise black African people, cultures and its norms and values.
“The judge agreed with us on these issues of substance and material.
“This is what was and still is important. Any move that has been produced must strike a balance between freedom of expression, human rights and cultural rights,” he said.
Nxesi said the judge’s finding about the classification was a “non-issue” to the foundation and it vowed to continue the battle against Inxeba.