A Serbian Film is a 2010 Serbia adult horror by Srdjan Spasojevic. With Srdjan Todorovic and Sergej Trifunovic.
The BBFC cut 4:12s
from the UK release. Uncut in the US but there is also a US version with a minute missing. An MPAA Unrated Director's Cut was released in the US in 2021. Banned in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Norway. The film was also banned from a festival
screening in Spain,
And for comparison, Denmark and Sweden classified the movie as a 15; in France the uncut version was awarded an 18 certificate. The film was temporarily banned in Brazil but was later passed 18 uncut.
In much the same way as The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) probed the dark mood in America after the Vietnam war, with A Serbian Film director Srdjan Spasojevic was attempting to bring a hyper-sexual, hyper-masculine vision of Serbian identity under Slobodan Milosevic's rule to an
international audience. Shot on a digital camera across Belgrade, with a soundtrack of unsettling techno music, the director intended his film to be an allegory of Milosevic-era Serbia. In 2010 he referred to his film as a diary of our own molestation by
the Serbian government. It's about the monolithic power of leaders who hypnotise you to do things you don't want to.
Review: So what did the BBFC find so cuttable?
From Andrew. Review
contains spoilers and may contain descriptions some people may find concerning.
Against all my better judgments I've just sat through an uncut print of A Serbian Film . I say my
better judgments, because for me these (I hate this term) torture porn films, hold absolutely no interest at all. How they can be branded horror films is beyond me. To me, horror is something that scares you, and makes you jump, not offends you. Anyway
that's purely academic, back on point, I was lucky enough to see an uncut print of A Serbian Film , now for a lot of you this will seem like nothing special, but here in the UK, it's been trimmed by just under 4 mins. I've yet to see the BBFC
approved print, but if all they have done is simply lessen the impact of scenes, this will still upset a lot of people.
That being said, I can certainly understand the BBFC's point. While I'm no fan of censorship (I
wouldn't be on here if I was), I do believe that a metaphorical line should be drawn in the sand, especially when dealing with children and sex in films. Even to this day, I'm still quite edgy around Larry Clarke's Kids . Which brings me
onto the big problem with A Serbian Film . The use of children. While one scene involves newborn porn (sex with a baby) , it does look very fake, and some might even say it's meant to, as it's supposed to be a metaphor and blah blah blah.
The scene that really did make me think the BBFC had a point was a joint rape, involving two sheet covered bodies, our main character, Milos, and another man (who's masked) raping them. While this is not shocking as such, what is revealed later in the
scene will be too much for some people, as it turns out the masked man, is Milos' brother (a sheriff), who's raping Milos' wife, and Milos is in fact raping his own (heavily drugged) young son. While you don't actually see anything as such, the repeat
viewings could be seen as being titillating and arousing for certain viewers. Whether this scene is one of the 49 cuts I can't say, but I'd be surprised if theirs not a few in their, as it does suggest you can easily drug and anally rape a child, and not
have to look at them.
Although, their are a lot of violent sex scenes, I think the one the BBFC will have had a problem with, is suffocation via fellatio. One of the support characters (having had her teeth knocked
out), is forced to have a penis rammed down her throat resulting in her suffocating and dying. The fact that this is played very real, and does go on, is, I imagine, something that hasn't sat well with them (the BBFC rarely allow these gagging scenes in R18 films (hardcore porn)). That being said, I'll be surprised if they were phased by the necrophilia / rigor mortis sex moments, as they can come off as laughable (as does the death via penis to eye socket), even in the context they're in, and movies like
Donkey Punch , seem to have faired off fine, so I doubt they were a problem.
While all the above scenes are shocking and uncomfortable to watch, this film IS very good. And I think that will be it's downfall,
you won't forget it, and that scares censors. It doesn't look like some snuff film from Tijuanna. It looks glossy, Hollywood, the cinematography is excellent, the acting top notch (especially as it's subtitled), it looks like a well made, well polished
mainstream film. Maybe that's the problem. It's just too damn good.
There is a high likelihood that viewers would be greatly shocked and disturbed by the extreme sexual violence and
violence in association with sexual conduct, along with sexual conduct with children and young persons, regardless of age. The publication's sexual violence and violence in association with sexual conduct is concerning in a different way. Research has
repeatedly shown that such depictions are likely to reinforce negative attitudes towards women in a number of ways. They have been shown to desensitise viewers to real-life violence, to reduce empathy with victims of sexual violence amongst both men and
women, to increase rape myth acceptance, and to increase women's fear of sexual assault. In the current publication this material is so extensive and extreme that these injuries to the public good are likely to occur regardless of the age of the viewer.
Norwegian Media Authority (Mediatilsynet) banned A Serbian Film because it contains violence with the sexualisation of children. Ove Wathne of Mediatilsynet told
daily Dagens Naeringsliv that it is usually an ingredient that provides a basis for an assessment of the Authority.
In Norway films are self rated by the distributors. The Norwegian media censors step in on demand, presumably in response to
complaints or controversy.
The US release is pre-cut by about 1:00s and is MPAA Unrated for:
Cuts required to remove portrayals of children in a sexualised or abusive context and images of sexual and sexualised violence which have a tendency to eroticise or endorse the behaviour.
Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy.
These include cuts to the juxtaposition of images of children with sexual and sexually violent material. Although the Board does not regard these images as
likely to contravene the Protection of Children Act 1978, the Guidelines state that intervention is most likely with, amongst other things, portrayals of children in a sexualised or abusive context .
Srpski Film - A Serbian Film is a Serbian language drama, subtitled in English. It tells the story of a retired porn star, Milos, who is
lured out of retirement by an offer of money from a mysterious figure called Vukmir. Vukmir wants Milos to star in what he describes as an artistic film for the foreign market but it soon becomes clear the project will require Milos' participation
in various acts of sexual violence and paedophilia. The film was classified 18 for very strong sexual violence, sex and violence.
The BBFC's Guidelines state that In line with the consistent findings of the
BBFC's public consultations and the Human Rights Act 1998, at '18 the BBFC's guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely [...] where material or
treatment appears to the BBFC to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society - for example, any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts [...] which may cause harm to public health or morals. This may include portrayals of
sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault'. More generally, the Guidelines state that A strict policy on sexual violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence
may require cuts at any classification level and that intervention, even at the adult level, is more likely with sexual violence or sexualised violence which endorses or eroticises the behaviour and with portrayals of children in a
sexualised or abusive context .
Before awarding an 18 classification to Srpski Film - A Serbian Film , the BBFC required forty-nine individual cuts, across eleven scenes. A number of cuts were
required to remove elements of sexual violence that tend to eroticise or endorse sexual violence. Further cuts were required to scenes in which images of children are intercut with images of adult sexual activity and sexual violence. It is important to
stress that the film makers took precautions to avoid the exposure of the young actors to the film's most disturbing scenes and that, in the BBFC's view, no scene is in clear breach of the Protection of Children Act 1978.
Even after cuts, the film's scenes of very strong sexual violence remain potentially shocking, distressing or offensive to some adult viewers, but are also likely to be found repugnant and to be aversive. They are not credibly
likely to encourage imitation. In some scenes Milos witnesses, or is forced to witness, acts of sexual violence, including the suggestion that a new born baby is being raped. In the cut version, the rape of the baby occurs entirely offscreen, implied
only by the sounds of the baby crying and by the reactions of the onlooking Milos and Vukmir. Although all clear shots of the baby being raped have been cut by the BBFC, it is worth noting that the film makers used a prosthetic model during the filming
of this scene and that no real baby was harmed. Later in the film, when Milos refuses to participate in the acts required of him by Vukmir, he is drugged and forced to continue filming against his will. As Milos regains consciousness, he begins to
remember what he has been compelled to do, including decapitating a restrained woman during sex and raping his unconscious wife and son. He also recalls, with the assistance of video recordings, some of the acts perpetrated against himself and others
during his period of unconsciousness. This includes one of his female friends being suffocated with a man's penis, after her teeth have been extracted, and Milos himself being raped. Once again, the cuts required by the BBFC have removed the more
explicit moments from these scenes and much of the action is now brief or implied rather than explicitly depicted. Nonetheless, the scenes remain potentially distressing and offensive, even in their cut versions. Cuts were also required to remove shots
which imply that children are witnessing sexual violence, sometimes enthusiastically, or where images of children are intercut with images of sexual activity and sexual violence. This includes a scene in which images of a young girl sucking a lolly are
intercut with a scene of fellatio, a scene in which the same young girl appears to lean forward excitedly as she witnesses a scene of violent fellatio, and a scene in which Milos' brother is fellated by a woman whilst watching a family video, featuring
his young nephew. All such intercutting has been removed from these scenes. In another scene, Vukmir attempts to persuade Milos to have a sex with an underaged girl. Although Milos refuses, cuts were required to remove shots in which the young girl
appears to be encouraging Milos to have sex with her. In spite of the fact that care was taken by the film makers to avoid exposing any of the young actors to anything disturbing, violent or sexual, this juxtaposition of images of children with sexual
and sexually violent material is a breach of BBFC policy and Guidelines.
The film contains a number of scenes of very strong bloody violence, including sight of a man's head being repeatedly smashed with a heavy object
until his skull caves in, a man's throat being torn out in close up, and a man being killed by having a prosthetic erect penis forced into his empty eye socket. These scenes considerably exceed the terms of the 15 Guidelines where Violence may
be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable . Srpski Film - A Serbian Film also contains
a number of scenes of strong sex. This includes sight of masturbation, oral sex, group sex, and sexual thrusting, as well as simulated ejaculation onto a woman's face. These scenes significantly exceed the terms of the 15 Guidelines where Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail
Srpski Film - A Serbian Film also includes very strong visual and verbal sex references, including to bestiality and paedophilia, very strong language, strong language, and strong nudity, including sight
of prosthetic erections.
Portrayal of children in sexualised/abusive context or
01:45s. After Marija says to Milos, Haven't we agreed about putting away your flicks? , remove all sight of the porn film on television immediately before it's switched off and we see Petar's reflection.
35:15s. After shot of Milos' face, remove entire shot in which we see Milos being fellated by Laylah while Jeca is seen on two screens in the background.
35:30s. After shot of Milos'
face, remove entire shot of Jeca applying lipstick and licking her lips, whilst the watching Milos is being fellated.
35:30s. After shot of Milos' face, remove entire shot of Jeca with her mouth wrapped around the
ice lolly and sucking it slowly, whilst the watching Milos is being fellated.
35:45s. After the implied ejaculation of Milos into Laylah's mouth, remove the entire shot of Jeca licking the lolly stick and wiping the
edges of her mouth and then smiling at Milos mischievously, shrugging, and licking the lolly stick again.
38:00s. After shot of Marko being fellated by woman, remove entire shot of Petar and his family
on-screen, the source of Marko's sexual interest.
38:30s. After shot of Marko being fellated by woman and the dialogue, Come, blow harder. Blow harder , remove entire shot of Petar and his mother blowing
candles on birthday cake.
38:30s. After shot of Marko being fellated by woman, remove entire shot of Petar with Marko and his family as Marko gives Petar a birthday present.
38:45s. After shot of Marko's face, while continued fellatio is implied below screen, remove entire shot of Petar with his family as Milos inhales helium from party balloon as the family laugh and which immediately precedes one of Milos' porn films.
44:15s. After sight of Jeca's mother lunging towards Milos' crotch, remove the close shot of her grabbing Milos' penis, taking it in her mouth, and biting down on the erect penis.
44:15s. After shot of Milos' being held around the neck, remove shot of Jeca leaning forward and smiling, exhibiting interest in the sexual violence.
44:30s. After shot of man instructing Milos
to Hit the whore. Hit the whore! , remove close shot of Jeca's mother biting on Milos' erect penis and following shot of Jeca leaning towards the sexual violence and saying Hit her
44:30s. After shot of
man instructing Milos to Hit her , remove shot of Jeca leaning towards the sexual violence and saying Hit her
44:30s. After shots of Milos' punching Jeca's mother in the face and following close shot of
Milos being held around the neck, remove sight of Jeca leaning forward and smiling at the sexual violence she's witnessing.
45:00s. After close shot of Jeca's mother's face as she's vigorously masturbating Milos,
remove shot which follows directly and which reveals Jeca smiling at the violence and sex.
45:15s. After close shot of Milos being held around the neck, as we hear Jeca's mother gasping following Milos' ejaculation
over her face, remove shot of Jeca leaning forward and smiling with satisfaction.
47:45s. After close shot on Milos' face, remove entire shot of man running his hand over, and groping and patting, the
naked bruised buttocks of Jeca's mother in medium close shot, including pan up her naked body and sight of him lifting her heavily bloodied battered face.
48:30s. After close shot of Milos' face looking
down, remove two shots of him turning the naked woman's body over with his foot, revealing her shaven genitals and her breasts covered in bruises, grazes and dried blood.
48:45s. After shot on Milos' face, distracted
by the voice of his son calling out, Hit it, dad, tear it, dad, uncle Vukmir is shooting , remove shot of Milos turning, with his penis in view, as his son sits in the background encouraging him to commit further acts of violence against the
already bloodied and battered woman.
56:00s. After shot of Milos watching the screen, remove entire shot of man pulling down his underpants with baby held in position in front of his crotch.
56:00s. After shot of Milos watching the screen, remove entire shot showing the rape of the newborn baby, with sight of man with underpants partially pulled down as he thrusts into the struggling newborn baby held in front of
56:15s. After Vukmir turns to look at the watching Milos, remove entire shot showing the rape of the newborn baby, with sight of man with underpants partially pulled down as he thrusts into the newborn
baby held in front of his crotch.
58:00s. In rapid montage, remove shot of newborn baby, in position in front of man's crotch, being raped.
58:15s. In rapid montage,
remove shot of Jeca sucking ice lolly intercut with the shots of Milos' face (as he penetrates man's eye socket) and close shots of female genitals.
58:15s. In rapid montage, remove close shot of Jeca's mother biting
down on Milos' erect penis.
58:15s. In rapid montage, remove close shot of Jeca's mother lying naked, bruised and bloodied with breasts exposed.
58:30s. In second
rapid montage, remove all sight of heavily bloodied naked female body which appears to be that of the child, Jeca.
63:00s. After Vukmir holds Milos' face, remove sight of naked and chained mother of Jeca
as she's dragged into room and thrown onto bed with some focus on her genitals and breasts.
63:15s. After shot of man locking cuff to edge of bed, remove medium shot of Jeca's mother with naked buttocks raised
towards camera and legs' pulled apart.
63:45s. After shot of a sexually charged Milos lunging towards Jeca's naked and restrained mother, remove sight of Jeca's mother naked and lying on the bed with her legs spread
and raised to reveal shadowy shot of exposed genitals, as camera closes in on her buttocks and genitals.
64:00s. After shot of Milos raping Jeca's mother and accompanying dialogue from Vukmir, Sweet little Jeca
watched her mother fuck the junky bums , remove medium close profile shot of Jeca's mother being raped with focus on her breasts.
64:15s. After shot of Milos thrusting into Jeca's mother from behind, with focus
on Jeca's mother's face and Vukmir's dialogue, ...who conceive babies in lust , remove medium shot of Milos thrusting into Jeca's naked mother with full body detail as he continues to hit her; and subsequent shot of Milos' continued raping as
Jeca's mother looks back at him in fear, with breasts prominently swaying as Milos continues to beat her.
64:30s. After shot on Jeca's mother's face and Vukmir's dialogue, Imagine her turning Petar into a
dog-fucker's bitch! , remove second POV shot of Milos' continued punching of Jeca's mother's naked back with focus on the heavy bruises which are being inflicted.
65:00s. After shot of blood splattering onto
picture on wall, remove close shots of machete embedded into Jeca's mothers' neck and blood pumping from the wound.
65:00s. After close shot of bloodied head being severed from heavily bloodied back, and Vukmir's
dialogue, The unique magic of rigor mortis! , remove shot of Milos thrusting into naked and heavily bloodied rear of the dead woman while holding the machete against her buttocks.
65:15s. After shot of dead
woman's torso pumping blood from neck, remove profile shot of Milos continuing to thrust into dead woman's heavily bloodied rear while holding the machete against her buttocks.
70:30s. After camcorder shot
of teeth lying on the concrete in pool of blood, remove the close pan up a restrained Laylah's blood spattered naked body with focus on her bloodied breasts and heavily bloodied mouth with teeth having been removed.
71:15s. After close focus on masked male's face, remove pan down to Laylah's toothless and bloodied mouth as man positions his erect penis in front of her face and then forcefully penetrates her mouth while holding the back of her head in position.
71:15s. After Milos continues to look at camcorder image, remove close shot of erection forced into Laylah's mouth as her head is firmly held in position.
71:30s. After Milos
continues to look at camcorder image, remove close shot of continued deep thrusting of erect penis into Laylah's bloodied mouth and sight of man pinching her nose so that she is unable to breath.
71:30s. After Milos
continues to look at camcorder image, remove close shot of continued deep thrusting of erect penis into Laylah's bloodied mouth with accompanying pinching of her nose so that she is unable to breath.
Milos continues to look at camcorder image, remove close pan in on Laylah's bulging eyes as forced deep throat fellatio with nose pinching continues until Laylah dies, ending on pan down her dead body to close focus on her bloodied breasts as blood
dribbles from her mouth onto her chest.
74:00s. After close shot of Milos' face, remove focus on Jeca as camera pans down to her putting her hand on Milos' knee, accompanied by the dialogue, You'll have
the honor of giving her a virgin's communion. To make her a woman
74:30s. After Vukmir encourages Milos to have sex with the child Jeca, with dialogue urging, Come on, come on... , remove close shot of
Jeca encouraging Milos with her hand on his knee and trailing this up his thigh towards his groin; and following close shot on the child smiling at Milos.
83:15s. After Milos is lead into the warehouse,
remove sight of Petar's naked buttocks lying exposed next to those of his mother, on a bed, as camera pans in towards them.
84:30s. After shot of Milos thrusting into the fully covered child's body, remove close shot
of Milos' buttocks as he thrusts into his son while sitting over the child's naked legs.
85:00s. After close shot of Milos' face, remove close shot of Milos' buttocks and scrotum as he thrusts against into his young
son, forcing a mixture of blood and excrement to squirt from the child's anus and down his thighs.
87:00s. After medium long shot of woman staggering into warehouse, remove close shot of her heavily
bloodied crotch and thighs with metal pipe held next to her bloodied crotch.
87:15s. After shot of watching cameraman, remove close shot of woman's bloodied crotch and thighs, with pipe in her hand dripping blood,
before she collapses to the floor.