The Film and Publication Board (FPB) Appeal Tribunal has overturned the classification rating of 16 LS given to the film Inxeba – The Wound and gave it a rating of X18 with the classifiable elements of Sex, Language, Nudity, Violence and Prejudice.
The reasons for the decision of the Appeals Tribunal are to be shared once they have been finalized and furnished by the Tribunal.
A rating of X18 means that the material can only be distributed from designated adult premises. This means the film cannot be screened in cinemas or any other platform that is not a designated adult premise as defined by the Film and Publications Act no 96 of 1996 as amended.
The Chairperson of the Appeals Tribunal in consultation with other tribunal members agreed to hear the appeal based on applications lodged by CONTRALESA Gauteng and The Men and Boy Foundation.
The complaints were largely based on the perceived cultural insensitivity and distortion of the Xhosa Circumcision tradition (Ulwaluko), strong language in the film.
The objective of the Act of 1996 is to regulate the creation, production, possession and distribution of films, games and certain publications, and more recently certain online content.
This is done to provide consumer advice to enable adults to make informed viewing, reading and gaming 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; and to make the use of children in, and the exposure of children to pornography, punishable. Paramount to the mandate of the FPB is the protection of children.
Protecting children under the Act is a proportional balancing of the rights afforded in the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights against the right of the child.
The protection of children as enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or moral harm to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.
It further ensures that children's best interest is of paramount importance in every matter concerning a child.
However, the tribunal comes to their own decision. The FPB appears before the tribunal to defend their classification rating as the respondents. In this instance the tribunal overturned the FPB's initial rating of 16 with advisories.