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15 September 2020
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Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
18 April 2020
Read our latest research report, Growing up with Porn - Insights from young New Zealanders Read more
05 December 2019
This page contains frequently asked questions and advice for parents who want to talk with their young people about pornography. Read more
24/08/2020 - R18: Graphic violence, cruelty and offensive language. Read more about Becky
What is it? Becky is a US film in which a young teenager deals with a home invasion at her family lake house. Becky is still grieving the loss of her mother to cancer and is dealing with the news that her father (Jeff) wants to marry his girlfriend (Kayla) when four prison escapees (led by the white supremacist Dominick) arrive. They are hunting for a mysterious oversized key. Becky has the key and proceeds to deal with the situation in a resourceful and gory fashion.
What to expect? Becky is a gruesome home invasion revenge thriller. The purpose of the white supremacist themes are to add colour to the villains but the effect is vague and confusing. The film is notable for having a young teenager as its violent protagonist – a choice that lends the film an exploitative tone. It is clearly unsuitable for children. The gratuitous imagery and cruel tone are also likely to shock and disturb teenagers. The home invasion premise is likely to be unsettling for younger viewers. The presence of highly offensive language also supports a restriction.
30/07/2020 - R13: Violence, horror and cruelty Read more about Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul
What is it? Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul is the third movie in the Japanese anime series, charting Reg, a humanoid robot, and Riko’s journey into the abyss to find Riko’s mother, Lyza. The film starts as they arrive at the fifth layer. Together with their friend Nanachi, who has lost part of their humanity to the abyss and resembles a rabbit, they must confront Bondrewd, a cave raider who can transfer his mind between bodies, in order to make it down to the sixth level. The film is in Japanese, with subtitles in English.
What to expect? Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul is an engaging high-fantasy anime feature. Its protagonists are both plucky and worthy; the painted style and world building contribute to its epic adventure feel. However, it deals with body horror and cruelty to an extent and degree that the unrestricted availability of the publication would be injurious to the public good. While the animated medium limits the overall impact, occasional gore and scenes of juvenile characters being dismembered while alive are still striking and highly affecting. Both the depiction of cruelty and the ideas behind the horror are likely to shock and disturb children. Teenagers are more likely to be able to contextualise the content within a fantasy narrative without being adversely affected.
30/07/2020 - R16: Contains graphic violence and horror Read more about Resident Evil 3 (2020)
What is it? Resident Evil 3 (2020) is a remake of a game originally released in 1999, reimagined as a third-person action game. The game is set in Raccoon City, a fictional American metropolis overrun by a zombie virus. Players assume the role of Detective Jill Valentine as she finds herself the target of a humanoid bioweapon known as Nemesis. Jill had been investigating the operations of the secretive Umbrella Corporation, who had developed the zombie virus, and are now focused on erasing any evidence that the viral outbreak was their fault. As she works to escape the city and the clutches of the seemingly unstoppable Nemesis, she is helped by Carlos Oliveira, a private military contractor who is working for, but increasingly suspicious of, the Umbrella Corporation. As players progress through the game, players will control both Jill and Carlos as the story requires.
What to expect? Resident Evil 3 (2020) is a linear, story driven game with regular combat sequences, occasional puzzle solving and constant horror themes. The violence is gory, but somewhat mitigated by being directed towards clearly undead or mutated enemies. Nonetheless, the gory violence and the horror players encounter throughout the game are likely to shock and disturb younger audiences. However as older teenagers and adults have the requisite maturity to reconcile this high degree of violence in the context of thrilling zombie fiction, Resident Evil 3 (2020) is best classified as restricted to those aged 16 and over.
30/07/2020 - M: Violence, offensive language and sexual references Read more about Bait
What is it? Bait is a UK feature film that focuses on Martin, a Cornish fisherman who is struggling with the gentrification of his working class fishing village, and resents the loss of his family home and livelihood. Martin’s grievances are captured in his ongoing discord with the Leighs, a family of stereotypical bourgeoisie outsiders, as he attempts to re-establish his family’s role in the community.
What to expect? The dominant effect of Bait is a stylistically unique film that examines the effect of change on a working class community. The film repeatedly juxtaposes the old with the new, locals with outsiders, and haves with the have-nots. It has been commended for its social commentary and filmic style. The restrained pace and visual style is unlikely to appeal to younger viewers.
The unrestricted availability of the film is unlikely to be injurious to the public good. The sexual references, moderate spikes of violence and fleeting depiction of drug use are low in extent and impact. They are unlikely to leave a lasting impression on younger audiences. Although the highly offensive language is well contextualised, it may, at times, be startling to younger viewers. However, it is unlikely to lead to long-term or serious harm.
19/03/2020 - R13: Violence, offensive language and sex scenes Read more about Queen and Slim
What is it? Queen and Slim is a crime drama and unlikely romance. After an unexceptional first date a young black couple are pulled over by a racist white cop. When the encounter goes badly wrong, Slim ends up shooting the cop and the two almost-strangers go on the run, travelling cross-country in an attempt to keep their freedom.
What to expect? Queen and Slim is a nuanced exploration of the effect of police brutality in the wake of the “black lives matter” movement. Both a love story and a road movie, it blends genre and characterisation to create a narrative which manages to voice anger at injustice without being didactic.
While the film’s portrayal of police brutality and gun violence is well-contextualised and of low extent, children are still likely to be shocked by it. The moral ambiguity of the crime presented requires some maturity to appreciate. Children are also unlikely to have the maturity to process the relatively frank sex scene and associated nudity. Furthermore, the extent of offensive language is likely to inure younger viewers to such language, increasing the likelihood of imitation, to the detriment of their socialisation.
16/03/2020 - R13: Contains violence and horror scenes Read more about Nioh 2
What is it? Nioh 2 is an action role playing game set in a mythic version of feudal Japan. Players assume the role of a warrior imbued with the power of a supernatural spirit – whose prowess at demon slaying calls him to battle with a growing horde of supernatural foes. Amidst this burgeoning threat, the warlords of the day battle for supremacy. Played from a third person perspective, players explore each level – battling demons of various shapes and sizes, until they culminate in a more challenging opponent and the level is complete. Dialogue that bookends the missions gives players context for their task, and there are cinematic cutscenes to propel more dramatic moments forward. Along the way, players will be able to find and upgrade new weapons, armours and skills to help them tackle ever more difficult foes.
What to expect? The combat in Nioh 2 is fast paced and bloody but somewhat mitigated by the mythic-historic setting. Most of the opponents the player faces off against are either supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore, or humans influenced by demonic spirits. During the game's frequent martial combat there is blood spray, as well as some decapitation. Whether the necks spurt blood or gas depends on the creature being fought. Ultimately, while this is a frequently bloody game, the mythic-historical setting considerably lessens the realism of the physical harm depicted. Nonetheless, the bloody violence and persistent but limited horror themes are likely to prove disturbing to younger audiences. Therefore Nioh 2 is best classified as restricted to those aged 13 and over, as teenagers have the maturity to properly contextualise this violence and horror in its supernatural setting.