South Africa’s award-winning film Inxeba (The Wound), has been classified as X18 by the Film and Publication Board Appeal Tribunal.
The FPB Appeal Tribunal changed the film’s original rating of 16LS to X18 with the “classifiable elements of Sex, Language, Nudity, Violence, and Prejudice”.
“Reasons for the decision of the Appeals Tribunal are to be shared once they have been finalised and furnished by the Tribunal,” said the FPB.
The X18 rating means the movie 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.”
The move comes after Inxeba, which was in the running for an Oscar nomination, was protested against by certain South African interest groups.
The FPB said the appeal which led to the X18 rating was due to 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),” said the FPB.
“It is a shame that the FPB’s Appeal Tribunal buckled to pressure from patriarchs and homophobes, instead of siding with the Constitution, the supreme law of the land,” said the DA on the matter.
The reclassification of Inxeba also follows multiple protests against the film’s screening.
This included a protest at a Nu Metro cinema in Port Elizabeth at the start of February. Protesters called for a boycotting of the film and the mall which hosted the cinema.
According to News24, Hemingways Mall in East London and Canal Walk in Cape Town also decided not to screen the film, following protests.
It is reported the protesting groups included individuals who believe Inxeba is an insult to Xhosa circumcision traditions and the events surrounding them.