High Court drops porn rating on Inxeba

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled that the X-rating on the film Inxeba: The Wound can be lifted meaning the film can now be shown in local cinemas with a 18 age restriction pending court proceedings that have been postponed until March 28.

Earlier this month, the Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) Appeal Tribunal reclassified the film from a rating of 16LS to X18, which meant that Inxeba could not be screened at local cinemas. 

The reclassification was based partly on the argument that the film had “no artistic value” and “increased tensions”.

The major reason for the reclassification was expressed by The Man and Boy Foundation and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) who described the movie as an inaccurate depiction of Xhosa initiation and as revealing sacred traditional aspects.

Inxeba is a love story between two men set in an initiation school but both the foundation and Contralesa have denied being motivated by homophobia and insist that their issue with the film is that it misrepresents the practice of initiation.

South Africa’s largest filmmaker the South African Screen Federation (Sasfed) joined the producers of Inxeba on Tuesday to overturn the film’s “porn rating”. In a press statement, Sasfed’s spokesperson Rehad Desai said the rating “smacks of apartheid-era censorship” citing that Inxeba is far less explicit than BDSM cult trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey which is rated 16. Sasfed said that they went to court to protect the freedom of expression. “The unjustified censorship can have a chilling effect on the creation of any work that might be considered controversial. It also denies audience members the right to decide for themselves what they would like to see,” the statement read. 

Source: Mail and Guardian