Martyrs receives 16 certificate
by Fabien Lemercier
After Culture Minister Christine Albanel called for a re-examination of the Film Commission’s decision, the thriller Martyrs (see article) by Pascal Laugier (House of Voices) has been given a 16 certificate, accompanied by a "warning" to viewers under 18, rather than the outright ban that was initially recommended.
Commenting on this decision, the Society of Film Directors (SRF) applauded "the strong mobilisation of directors, producers, distributors, film critics and viewers" and "a measure that is in line with the legal precedents of cases involving comparable genre films, such as the recent Hostel II, Frontier(s) and Saw IV".
The SRF recalled the fact that with an 18 certificate "the film would have been rejected by theatres, television networks, video sellers and rental agents, as well as by the majority of viewers, for whom an 18 rating is associated with pornography". The Society have also asked the Culture Minister to entrust the National Film Centre (CNC) with “an initiative of dialogue, reflection and proposals for the Film Classification Commission".
According to the SRF, "the movie theatre is the only cultural space still to be subjected to control by the State which, through lack of change, has become inconsistent from the standpoint of the current framework of protection for young audiences, which functions according to parental control along with self-regulation and recommendation, regardless of the distribution method (TV, Internet, DVD)".
Martyrs – whose theatrical release was scheduled for June and then cancelled by Wild Bunch Distribution – is set to hit screens in the coming months.
(Translated from French)
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