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The Empire Strikes Back...

BBFC rating raised from U to PG

Link Here27th June 2020
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Irvin Kershner.
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. BBFC link IMDb

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi Master's help will Luke survive when the Dark Side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader.

No censorship issues beyond noting that the film was U rated from 1980 until 2011, but was PG rated in 2020.

The 2011 Blu-ray was rated U for mild violence and threat whereas the 2020 cinema release was rated PG for moderate violence, mild threat.

There have also been a few minor tweaks to plot and special effects over time.




The BBFC commissions a survey about people's thoughts on strong language in 12 and 15 rated films

Link Here19th May 2020
The BBFC has commissioned research into public attitudes towards certain types of bad language. The BBFC writes:

This will comprise qualitative and quantitative elements, examining attitudes across the UK towards both the rating of bad language and how these elements should be described in ratings info. In particular, the research will focus on: strong language [ie 'fuck'] at 12A/12; very strong language [ie 'cunt'] at 15; reclaimed uses of the 'n' word at the 12A/12 level, particularly in music videos; and implied bad language and word play, such as WTF.



Commented: The BBFC touts for business...

Half of children and teens exposed to harmful online content while in lockdown

Link Here11th May 2020

New research by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has shown that children and teens are being exposed to harmful or upsetting content while in lockdown, often on a daily basis.

The research, carried out by YouGov, has revealed that in lockdown, nearly half (47%) of children and teens have seen content they'd rather avoid, leaving them feeling uncomfortable (29%), scared (23%) and confused (19%).

One in seven (13%) said they see harmful content daily while in lockdown, with 14 year olds exposed to the most. A quarter (24%) of 14 year olds say they see harmful content on a daily basis.

This comes as more than half (53%) parents say they haven't spoken to their children about their increased time online during lockdown, with a third (29%) saying they didn't think those chats would make a difference.

The BBFC is encouraging parents to talk to their children about what content they might be watching online during lockdown, as 60% of children say they have approached their parents to chat after seeing content that has upset or disturbed them while they've been online in lockdown.

Parents, and young people, can check out age ratings and ratings info to find out what content might contain on the BBFC website and app. The BBFC also has a wide range of educational resources to help parents homeschool their children during lockdown available on their website, and on their children's website cbbfc.

The research also shows that 82% of parents, and three quarters (73%) of children want to see trusted BBFC age ratings and ratings info displayed on user generated content platforms like YouTube, so they can avoid content that might upset or disturb them.

95% of parents said they want age ratings on user generated content platforms linked to parental filters. The BBFC is therefore calling on platforms to consider using BBFC age ratings for their content, and for uploaders of user generated content to age rate their content which could then be linked to parental filters.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:

This research shows that during the lockdown parents can make a real difference to their children's risks online if they talk about how to avoid potentially distressing and inappropriate content. We're supporting parents to help their children to navigate the online world safely, and both our website and children's website cbbfc, contain a wealth of free educational resources including ones we have developed with the PHSE Association.

But platforms have a role to play as well. What a difference it would make, for example, if YouTube had well known, trusted BBFC age ratings created by those uploading or watching the video, that parents and young people recognise from the cinema, DVD and Blu-ray and Netflix, linked to filters. Now more than ever we need to work together to protect children online by giving them the information they need to choose content well.

This research supports the Government's recognition of the need to help families stay safe online, with guidance recently issued containing the four-point plan including: reviewing security and safety settings; checking facts and guarding against disinformation; being vigilant against fraud and scams; and managing the amount of time spent online.

Offsite Comment: The BBFC's Harmful Research

11th May 2020. See article from

The British Censor's new research is simply a questionnaire telling them what they wanted to hear.



Offsite Article: The British Censor's Chainsaw Massacres...

Link Here4th May 2020
How the dictatorial British film censor James Ferman became an obsessive buzz kill in the 1980. By David Flint

See article from



DAU: Degeneration...

The latest cinema cuts from the BBFC, for animal cruelty

Link Here30th April 2020

Dau: Degeneration - Episode 9 is a 2020 Germany / Ukraine / UK / Russia drama by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Ilya Permyakov.
Starring Vladimir Azhippo, Dmitry Kaledin and Olga Shkabarnya. BBFC link IMDb

A secret Soviet Institute conducts scientific and occult experiments on animals and human beings to create the perfect person. The KGB general and his aides turn a blind eye to erotic adventures of the director of the Institute, scandalous debauches of prominent scientists and their cruel and insane research. One day, a radical ultra right-wing group arrives in the laboratory under the guise of test subjects. They get a task - to eradicate the decaying elements of the Institute's community, and if needs be, destroy the fragile world of secret Soviet science.

The latest cinema cuts from the BBFC are to episode 9 of the Russian language arts film DAU: Degeneration. The film was rated 18 but only after cut for animal cruelty.

Thanks to Trash Panda who notes that the film has been streaming on for several weeks in its uncut format with an assumed BBFC 18 label. Of course BBFC certificates are essentially voluntary online and do not carry any legal force.

Trash Panda also notes that another film fro the DAU project, Dau: Natasha, has proven controversial as actors were actually hurt on set. Perhaps related to the BBFC cuts here, Dau Natsasha has just been hastily taken down from the DAU website. Maybe they realised they were being a bit presumptive when streaming the film with a BBFC 18 label.

Note that Dau: Degeneration episodes 7 and 9 contain real sex with an 18 rating. See Hardcore 18s List: DAU Degeneration

BBFC cut
cut: 32s
run: 68:01s
pal: 65:18s
sub: 68:01s
18 UK: Episode 9 was passed 18 for strong real sex, gory images after 32s of compulsory BBFC substitution cuts:
  • 2020 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Compulsory cuts required to a scene in which a pig is killed, in a protracted and cruel fashion, by a knife hacking at its throat before its spinal cord is severed with an axe.



Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 101...

Link Here24th April 2020
Trolls: World Tour, Bloodshot and The Invisible Man

See article from



Commented: Love Camp 7...

The British Board of Film Censors bans 1969 video nasty for the second time

Link Here14th April 2020
Love Camp 7 is a 1969 USA war horror thriller by Lee Frost.
With Bob Cresse, Maria Lease and Kathy Williams. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The film was banned as a video nasty in 1985, then banned from DVD by the BBFC in 2002. The film was banned again by the BBFC for 2020 VoD. Uncut elsewhere but there have only been a few obscure releases until the 2017 US DVD/Blu-ray Combo.

See further details at Melon Farmers Film Bans: Love Camp 7

The film has just been banned by the BBFC after being submitted for Video on Demand by Screenbound. Note that this is not quite an official ban as BBFC decisions for internet video carry no legal weight. But no doubt the major online sources will take heed anyway.

The BBFC commented on its website:

Love Camp 7 is a US film, from 1969, in which female agents are sent undercover into a Nazi prison camp where female prisoners are sexually abused, raped and tortured by soldiers. It was previously refused a classification for DVD release in 2002. The present submission is for distribution on VOD.

The BBFC's Classification Guidelines state that We may refuse to classify content which makes rape or other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour look appealing or acceptable, reinforces the suggestion that victims enjoy such behaviour, or invites viewer complicity in such behaviour. They also 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 rape, other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour or sadistic violence.

Because LOVE CAMP 7 is largely comprised of scenes of non consensual sexual activity, including rape, presented in a manner that is intended to arouse viewers, its central concept is unacceptable and the sexually abusive material it contains too pervasive for cuts to be an effective solution.

Accordingly, the BBFC has refused classification to this work.

The BBFC further commented at a board meeting [pdf] :

The film was recently submitted for classification for VOD release. Given its status as a previously rejected work it was viewed by the entire Compliance team and certain members of the Policy team before referral to the Board.

The Board noted that there are a number of prolonged scenes of non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, in Love Camp 7 , in many cases featuring a focus on female nudity. Such scenes are frequently gratuitous, both in terms of length and detail, going some way beyond what is required by the narrative, and in some cases perpetuating harmful rape myths. These issues were considered in relation to the BBFC's 2019 Guidelines consultation, which found depictions of sexual violence to be of particular concern to the public.

The Board discussed the extent to which the film's datedness and risibility limits its impact, and considered the film's likely appeal and audience. It was observed that, while aspects of the film are dated, the sequences of sexual violence and abuse are not. It was also noted that while the film is different in many respects to modern pornography, its close and repeated focus on nudity means the sequences of sexual violence and abuse still have the potential to arouse.

The Board concluded that because that as Love Camp 7 is largely comprised non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, presented in a manner that is intended to arouse viewers, its central concept is unacceptable and the sexually abusive material too pervasive for cuts to be an effective solution. Accordingly, the Board agreed that the BBFC should refuse to classify Love Camp 7.

Update: Love Camp 7 Remains The Benchmark For Unacceptable Cinema in 2020

14th April 2020. See article from

It's good to know that in these unique times, our moral superiors are still hard at work protecting us from problematic imagery. The British Board of Film Classification might seem a more liberal body these days than they once did, but rest assured -- they will still step forward to protect the nation from corruption.

See full article from



Joan of Arc...

BBFC raises its rating from 15 to 18

Link Here6th April 2020
 A DVD release from 2005 

Joan of Arc is a 1999 France / Czech Republic / USA war historical biography by Luc Besson.
Starring Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich and Rab Affleck. BBFC link IMDb

1429. While the war between France and England (the Hundred Years War) appeared settled in 1420, in England's favour, the death of King Henry V of England reignites it. England occupies large areas of France and appears set to take the whole of it. Into this moment of crisis rides legendary Joan of Arc, a teenage girl who claims to be lead by divine visions.

The film has never been cut by the BBFC but its age rating was raised from 15 in 1999 to 18 in 2020, presumably down to BBFC policy changes on sexual violence.

The contentious scene seems to be a young Joan witnessing the brutal stabbing and rape of her sister by soldiers. In 1999 the age rating was based on the violence and explicitness of the scene, but by 2020, BBFC policy had been changed, and the rating was based more on sending messages about increased societal concern about sexual violence. This resulted in the film being uprated to 18 for 2020 video release.

Another recent example of old 15 ratings being raised to 18 for sexual violence was Barbara Streisand's 1991 drama, Prince of Tides . Again this was rated 15 in 1991 but 30 years later was increased to 18.

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