Fight over clas­si­fi­ca­tion of ‘Inxeba’ film rages on

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - ZELDA VEN­TER

zelda.ven­ THE bat­tle over the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the film Inxeba (The Wound) is not over, the Man and Boy Foun­da­tion vowed.

Fol­low­ing Thurs­day’s Gaut­eng High Court, Pre­to­ria judg­ment, which has the prac­ti­cal ef­fect that the film is now back to its orig­i­nal no-un­der-16 age re­stric­tion, the foun­da­tion said it would go back to the Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Board to ap­ply for re­clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the film, to be rated XX18.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the foun­da­tion, Nku­l­uleko Nx­esi, said they were happy that Judge Joseph Raulinga has con­firmed what they had been ar­gu­ing from the start.

The foun­da­tion as well as the Congress of Tra­di­tional lead­ers of South Africa ob­jected to the film on var­i­ous grounds. These in­cluded that the film was in­sult­ing and de­grad­ing to black African women, that it ex­posed these women and chil­dren to sex­ual vi­o­lence and as­sault, and that it showed to­tal dis­re­spect of the tra­di­tional ini­ti­a­tion prac­tice.

“The judge agreed with us on these is­sues… This is what is im­por­tant to us. Any film must strike a bal­ance be­tween free­dom of ex­pres­sion and hu­man and cul­tural rights.”

Nx­esi said the only thing Judge Raulinga found to be wrong was the pro­ce­dure fol­lowed by the Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Ap­peal Tri­bunal.

The judge found that the ap­peal tri­bunal did not have the power in terms of the Films and Pub­li­ca­tion Act to re­clas­sify the film from a 16 age re­stric­tion to a X18 SNLVP rat­ing, which ren­dered the film as porno­graphic.

He also con­cluded that the ap­peal tri­bunal did not act pro­ce­du­rally fairly when it re­clas­si­fied the film.

But the judge, who viewed the film be­fore he heard the re­view ap­pli­ca­tion, made it clear that the con­tents of the film were of­fen­sive to some peo­ple.

The film is set in the ru­ral East­ern Cape and the ac­tion is based on a Xhosa ini­ti­a­tion school and the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the ini­ti­ates. There are ho­mo­sex­ual sex scenes.

Judge Raulinga said that, in this case, right to free­dom of ex­pres­sion had an ef­fect on the rights of the Xhosa tra­di­tional group.

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