Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The BBFC Ban Another Film


The BBFC announced that "Hate Crime" has officially been banned in the UK. 

"Hate Crime" tells the story of a Jewish family, having just arrived in a new neighbourhood, who are recording their youngest son's birthday celebrations on video when their home is suddenly invaded by a bunch of crystal-meth-crazed neo-Nazi lunatics.


It's not often you hear of films getting banned these days, only four horror movies have officially refused classification by the BBFC since 2009, the others being "Grotesque", "The Bunny Game" and "The Human Centipede 2" (later released with 3 minutes of cuts).



The BBFC stated:
"Hate Crime" focuses on the terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse and murder of the members of a Jewish family by the Neo Nazi thugs who invade their home. The physical and sexual abuse and violence are accompanied by constant strong verbal racist abuse. Little context is provided for the violence beyond an on screen statement at the end of the film that the two attackers who escaped were subsequently apprehended and that the one surviving family member was released from captivity. We have considered the attempt at the end to position the film as against hate-crime, but find it so unconvincing that it only makes matters worse. 

"The BBFC's Guidelines on violence state that 'Any depiction of sadistic or sexual violence which is likely to pose a harm risk will be subject to intervention through classification, cuts or even, as a last resort, refusal to classify. We may refuse to classify content which makes sexual or sadistic violence look appealing or acceptable or invites viewer complicity in sexual violence or other harmful violent activities. We are also unlikely to classify content which is so demeaning or degrading to human dignity (for example, it consists of strong abuse, torture or death without any significant mitigating factors) that it may pose a harm risk.'

"It is the Board's carefully considered conclusion that the unremitting manner in which "Hate Crime" focuses on physical and sexual abuse, aggravated by racist invective, means that to issue a classification to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, would risk potential harm, and would be unacceptable to broad public opinion."

"Of course, the Board will always seek to deal with such concerns by means of cuts or other modifications when this is a feasible option.  However, under the heading of 'Refusal to classify' our Guidelines state that 'As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. We may do so, for example, where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on sexual or sadistic violence. Before refusing classification we will consider whether the problems could be adequately addressed through intervention such as cuts.' The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the fact that unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification."


Since this was reported the online horror community has spoken out against this action, the ban did receive a notable endorsement from The Huffington Post,  whose writer Simon Thompson agreed that it was appropriate that ‘Hate Crime’ be banned on grounds of anti-Semitism - despite the writer’s own admission to not having seen the film.

The irony is that most people are unaware that "Hate Crime" director James Cullen Bressack is himself Jewish and made the film in part as response to having been the victim of hate crime himself.The films director stated: 

“As a Jewish man, and a victim of anti -Semitic hate, I made a horror film that depicts the very thing that haunts my dreams. As an artist I wanted to tell a story to remind us that we live in a dangerous world; a world where racial violence is on the rise. It saddens me to learn that censorship is still alive and well. As a critic and journalist, you should at least see the film you are criticizing and do your research to learn that the filmmaker is Jewish. However I have to admit that I do appreciate the press."  


He has also stated - "I am honoured to know that my mind is officially too twisted for the UK. I find it unbelievable that a film that shows little to no on screen violence and no nudity was actually banned. it just shows the power of what is implied and peoples imagination; and is a testament to the fact that the same crimes that happen in the world are truly horrifying."


I'd love to know what your thoughts are on the ban. You can also check out the films trailer below:

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