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DISTRIBUTION Italy

Court prohibits Apocalypto to minors

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The controversy on the lack of a restricted rating for minors of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, out on 300 screens since last Friday, has ended up in the courts. The Administrative Regional Court of Lazio accepted the recourse of the Codacons consumer association to temporarily restrict minors under the age of 14 from seeing the film.

Italy is, in fact, the only European country in which the restricted rating for minors, due to the film’s violent scenes, was not applied. In recent days, Minister of Culture Francesco Rutelli had requested the film’s distributor Eagle to ask exhibitors to prohibit minors not accompanied by their parents from entering cinemas. Accepting the request, exhibitors warned audiences of the particular severity of several scenes and advised young filmgoers against seeing it.

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The highly contested decision of the Italian film revision commission to not apply restrictions of any kind compelled the minister to call a meeting to study the possible ways to reform the commission, "to drastically simplify the mechanisms of authorisation and, vice versa, to render more serious the mechanisms of the protection of minors, in order to avoid episodes such as Apocalypto", emphasised a spokesperson for the minister.

As proof of the commission’s bizarre functioning, the weekend in question saw the release of Lars von Trier’s The Boss of it All [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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, coproduced and distributed in Italy by Lucky Red: the hilarious comedy by the brilliant Danish director (which we urge all to see) was restricted to minors under 14 for a single sex scene that was obviously satirical, in which the two main characters remain completely dressed. Any television ad is more revealing.

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(Translated from Italian)

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