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Office of Film & Literature Classification

A short film by young filmmakers, part of our 'Minds Over Media' campaign.

Young people's thoughts on viewing sexual violence in media.

Our Briefing to the Incoming Minister outlines our response to online media challenges in the digital age.

A website for NCEA students studying the classification system.

Latest news and blog posts

Media release - It's not everyone's fiction

08 March 2018

Featured decision - Fifty Shades Freed

10 January 2018

Blog post - Parents, we need to talk...

01 January 2018

Blog post - Algorithmedia

11 December 2017

News item - Surviving and thriving in the digital age

07 December 2017

Annual Report 2017 - The year in review

28 November 2017

Blog post - Monte Casino: A primer on loot boxes

08 November 2017

Chief Censor's blog - Porn, jobs, money – the real story

02 November 2017

What do the ratings/classifications mean?

What do the ratings/classifications mean?

All about rating/classification labels and descriptive notes.

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Ratings

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OFLC updates

Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.

Parents, we need to talk...

01 January 2018

Find out more about our collaborative project on helping you communicate with the young people in your life. Read more

Parents 'need to know' about new Netflix release To The Bone

13 July 2017

The Classification Office has classified the anticipated and controversial Netflix film To The Bone
Read more about this media release

Chief Censor publishes research about sexual violence in media

04 July 2017

Our latest research finds out what young people's thoughts on viewing sexual violence in entertainment media like movies, TV shows and games are Read more about this research

Recent classification decisions

These are brief snapshots of recent classification decisions. For more detailed information on selected titles see featured classification decisions

11/04/2018 - R13: Violence and offensive language Read more about God of War (2018)

What’s it about? God of War (2018) marks a new chapter in this long-running video game franchise. A third-person action series originally based on Greek mythology, this entry finds anti-hero Kratos living quietly in the snowy ranges of Scandinavia. But this is the domain of the Norse gods, and they do not appreciate his presence. With his wife’s passing, Kratos and son Atreus set out across these dangerous lands, to scatter her ashes from the highest peak.

What to expect? A spectacular adventure in Norse mythology, players guide Kratos and son through the frequent combat scenarios of their characterful story. With each strike of Kratos’ axe, the blood of mythic creatures sprays in the air and spatters the ground. Yet this combat remains arcade-like, with opponents flung aside or able to be air-juggled – where successive strikes keep them airborne. Stronger injury occurs with combat executions, but these are brief brutalities – likely to disturb children, but able to be properly contextualised by teenagers. While extended boss fights become bloody, the dominant effect is of larger than life, superhero combat. Alongside some use of highly offensive language, the violence ensures that God of War (2018) is best restricted to those aged 13 and over.

09/03/2018 - R16: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Far Cry 5

What’s it about? Far Cry 5 is an open world first-person shooter set in the fictional Hope County of Montana, USA. After an attempt to arrest Joseph Seed, ‘Father’ of the cult Project at Eden’s Gate, the cult begin their doomsday insurrection. Moving swiftly, they take down communications and block roads into and out of Hope County. With no one else to save them, the player helps foment a citizen resistance to take back their lands, and their people. Alongside the singleplayer campaign, which can also be played co-operatively with friends, there is an extensive map-making ‘Arcade’ mode for people to play, create, and share their own scenarios online.

 What to expect? The game primarily deals with violence, cruelty, and crime. The Eden cultists rob, murder, torture, and kidnap in the name of religious insurrection. This is to show the brutality and viciousness of the cult members towards those who would oppose their Father, and motivate the player’s own violent intervention. A free-form game, it lets players use a variety of ways to go about engaging the cult, from picking them off with a rifle, to quietly snapping necks, or taking them head on in bloody shootouts and explosions. All told, the game features repetitive bloody violence and scenes of cruelty in real world scenarios, which are likely to disturb younger players. Alongside the frequent use of highly offensive language, the game is clearly not suitable for children or younger teenagers. As older teens and adults have the requisite maturity to deal with the stronger content of the game, Far Cry 5 is best restricted to those aged 16 years and over.

09/03/2018 - R16: Violence, cruelty and offensive language Read more about A Way Out

What’s it about? A Way Out is a cinematic action adventure game for two people to play cooperatively. Players assume the role of either Leo or Vincent as the men first meet in an American prison. United by a desire for revenge on Cartel leader Harvey, they join forces to break out of jail and take him down. The game is unusual for its use of a flexible split screen presentation, resizing to emphasize particular character moments. 

What to expect? A characterful crime caper of fisticuffs, daring escapes, and explosive chases. The gunfights, which use traditional third person shooter mechanics, have players diving between cover as they gun down their numerous enemies. Their adventure contains regular scenes of limited violence, and some extended sequences of bloody shoot outs. This violence, and particularly a cruel torture scene, is likely to be disturbing to younger audiences. Coupled with the frequent use of highly offensive language, and some limited sexual content, A Way Out is best restricted to those aged 16 years and over.

28/02/2018 - R16: Graphic violence, sexual violence, offensive language, sex scenes & nudity Read more about Red Sparrow

What’s it about? A spy-thriller following Dominicka, an injured prima ballerina recruited as a Russian intelligence officer. Once in the field, Dominicka is sent to Budapest to make contact with a CIA agent, Nate, and discover the identity of the mole in the Russian government leaking information to the Americans.

What to expect? Red Sparrow combines the high stakes of espionage with gritty rumination on the power of the state over the individual. Dominicka faces the crushing weight of misogyny at every turn: her life is seemingly controlled by the violence, sexual or otherwise, visited upon her body by the men in her life. This violence is played out on screen in hyper-real detail, and the end result is an emotionally compelling but disturbing film. There is also some minor use of offensive language. Red Sparrow’s intended audience is clearly older teenagers and adults, who have the intellectual and emotional maturity to contextualise its cruelty and violence as part of a wider discourse on bodily freedom and state control.

Younger viewers are highly likely to be shocked and disturbed by the extent and degree of the film’s sexual violence and significant violence and cruelty.

20/12/2017 - R13: Drug use, sex scenes and offensive language Read more about Lady Bird

What's it about? This coming-of-age drama/comedy follows Christine, a senior at a Catholic girls’ high school who prefers to be called Lady Bird, through the cycle of the American senior year: math tests and school plays; the prom; the “admissions process” for university. Along the way, there are extracurricular rites of passage. At the heart of the film is Lady Bird’s need to gain approval from her mother, a difficult task because the standards seem impossibly high and subject to change without notice, while being true to her own desires and convictions.

What to expect? Lady Bird is a well-made coming-of-age comedy with great emotional depth. It deals in a very frank, funny, and candid manner with its main teenage character and her schoolmates and friends. It gives searing examples of the combative mother/daughter relationship and how, with emerging maturity, Lady Bird begins to see the selfless efforts her mother makes for not only her, but the whole family. It deals with the sexuality of teenage girls in a frank manner, sitting in stark contrast to the more common Hollywood treatment of teenagers and sex in teen sex comedies.

Nonetheless some of the material is relatively strong and likely to confuse children who may misconstrue what they are seeing without fully understanding what is occurring, particularly situations to do with drugs and sex. The level of highly offensive language supports a restricted classification.

20/12/2017 - Unrestricted M: Violence and content that may disturb Read more about Planet Of The Apes: Last Frontier

What's it about? Planet Of The Apes: Last Frontier is an interactive narrative game focused on the cinematic presentation of its branching story. The game tells the story of a tribe of apes driven to a remote mountainside by human soldiers. While looking for food, they find a herd of steers guarded by humans. In their attempt to make off with some livestock a confrontation leaves one man dead, sparking a conflict between the species. Playing out from the perspectives of human leader Jess, and the ape Bryn, the choices players make during the story will ultimately shape whether they can survive in this Last Frontier.

What to expect? Planet Of The Apes: Last Frontier is a highly cinematic, branching story of species trying to survive. Whether they overcome each other, or learn to live together, is up to player choices. In the course of the story, there is low-level bloody violence, and a sequence of moderate cruel violence. However, as player interaction is limited to occasional prompts of binary choices, the game largely plays out in the manner of a film.

While the violence and cruelty depicted is unsuitable for younger audiences, it is well contextualised and is unlikely to cause them lasting harm.

Minds Over Media

Video transcripts

  • TTYP: What do they want to know?

    Video transcript - TTYP: What do they want to know?

    The video clip is a minute long. White background. A small pause button appears on screen before turning into the Minds Over Media logo, which reads "Minds Over Media. Watch carefully. Think critically." Dr Sue Bagshaw's name appears on screen alongside that of the Collaborative Trust. The title of the video, Talking to young people: What do they want to know? appears on screen.

    Sue's voiceover plays over this. Transcript follows below:

    I think it's - again, it's about listening. So it's really important to listen to what actually do they want to know? Because us with our adult minds (dirty, filthy minds that we've got) we go straight to, "Oh, they must be asking about the details of intercourse, or the - they want to know about oral sex, or..." But actually they really don't want that much detail. They just want to know that you're happy to answer. So always - if they ask you a question, you go (gasp) 'Oh, how am I going to answer this?' Just ask them back. "Why do you want to know? What would you like to know about that?" And then clarify, and you might find they don't want to know all that much detail and you go way over the top and totally unnecessarily. So those, "I'm wondering how come you think like that? I'm wondering why you ask that question? I'm just wanting to understand where you're coming from." Rather than listening to think, "Oh help, how am I going to answer that one?"

    White background. Image of Classification Office logo with Massey University logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz; and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University of New Zealand, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. End of clip.

    With thanks to Drs. Sue Bagshaw of the Collaborative Trust and Claire Henry of Massey University. Ka pai!

  • TTYP: Really listen

    Video transcript - TTYP: Really listen

    The video clip is one minute and two seconds long. White background. A small pause button appears on screen before turning into the Minds Over Media logo, which reads "Minds Over Media. Watch carefully. Think critically." Dr Sue Bagshaw's name appears on screen alongside that of the Collaborative Trust. The title of the video, Talking to young people: Really listen appears on screen.

    Sue's voiceover plays over this. Transcript follows below:

    I mean, for me the biggest message I want to get across to parents is "listen". The biggest feedback I get from kids is "My parents don't listen to me". And parents think they're listening, but kids don't feel heard. And I think it's that difference between listening, but you're still doing something and actually listening and reflecting and actually spending time to not necessarily looking people in the eye, because that’s really embarrassing, but while you’re driving or while you’re doing something automatic so that you’re doing it alongside each other, but really hearing. So I think trying to listen to what the underlying message is what the child is trying to say because they haven’t got the vocabulary. So we really need to listen to the emotion and the need underneath. And that kind of listening, whoa. If we could all do that, our society would be way different. Especially our politicians.

    White background. Image of Classification Office logo with Massey University logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz; and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University of New Zealand, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. End of clip.

    With thanks to Drs. Sue Bagshaw of the Collaborative Trust and Claire Henry of Massey University. Ka pai!

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