FPB slammed for re­clas­si­fy­ing Inxeba

It has bumped up clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the film from its ini­tial 16LS to an X18 rat­ing to ap­par­ently en­able adults to make in­formed view­ing choices

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - SIYABONGA SITHOLE siyabon­gas@the­newage.co.za

THE de­ci­sion by the Ap­peal Tri­bunal of the South African Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Board (FPB) to re­clas­sify Inxeba – The Wound, to an X18 rat­ing, has been slammed by the lo­cal film in­dus­try with fans of the film ac­cus­ing the board of be­ing ho­mo­pho­bic and in sup­port of tra­di­tional lead­ers who since last year lodged nu­mer­ous cam­paigns to have the film banned and boy­cotted.

This was after the Cul­tural, Re­li­gious and Lin­guis­tic Com­mu­ni­ties com­mis­sion made nu­mer­ous rep­re­sen­ta­tions to the board about com­plaints it re­ceived from con­cerned cit­i­zens ag­i­tat­ing for the age re­stric­tion.

The FPB said the de­ci­sion to bump up clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the film from its ini­tial 16LS clas­si­fi­ca­tion to an X18 rat­ing was done to pro­vide con­sumer ad­vice to en­able adults to make in­formed view­ing choices for them­selves and chil­dren in their care, to pro­tect chil­dren from ex­po­sure to dis­turb­ing and harm­ful ma­te­rial and from pre­ma­ture ex­po­sure to adult ex­pe­ri­ences.

The re­clas­si­fi­ca­tion comes just weeks after Inxeba was met with re­sis­tance fol­low­ing protests and cin­ema shut­downs for its de­pic­tion of gay love at the se­cret Xhosa rit­ual and its sex­ual el­e­ments of nu­dity, violence and prej­u­dice.

The film’s di­rec­tor, John Tren­gove, re­fused to speak to The New Age and re­ferred the news­pa­per to a Twit­ter state­ment, where he la­belled the FPB’s de­ci­sion, a bla­tant dis­play of ho­mo­pho­bia.

“If any­one needs fur­ther proof of the shameless ho­mo­pho­bia ram­pant at the high­est lev­els of the FPB, here it is,” Tren­gove said.

“Iron­i­cally, it is this sys­temic era­sure of queer iden­tity that in­spired us to make Inxeba – The Wound in the first place.”

The re­clas­si­fi­ca­tion prac­ti­cally bans the film from be­ing shown in the main­stream me­dia and cin­ema set­tings and only per­mit­ted at des­ig­nated adult premises. The DA also slammed the FPB’s de­ci­sion as be­ing se­vere and harsh.

The DA strongly con­demns the FPB’s de­ci­sion to re­clas­sify the film to a rat­ing of X18. We en­cour­age the pro­duc­ers of Inxeba to fight all the way

Phumzile van Dame said: “The DA strongly con­demns the FPB’s de­ci­sion to re­clas­sify the film to a rat­ing of X18. We en­cour­age the pro­duc­ers of Inxeba to fight all the way to the high­est court in the land by ur­gently tak­ing this de­ci­sion on re­view.”

Yes­ter­day, at a press brief­ing held by the CRL at Birch­wood Ho­tel, the film’s pro­duc­ers ex­cused them­selves and left the brief­ing with­out an ex­pla­na­tion.

RE­CLAS­SI­FIED: The Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Board has been ac­cused of be­ing ho­mo­pho­bic after it changed the rat­ing for Inxeba: The Wound to X18.

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