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22 September 2017
13 September 2017
04 August 2017
20 July 2017
13 July 2017
04 July 2017
02 May 2017
27 April 2017
Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
13 September 2017
Chief Censor David Shanks talks about what the role of censorship means in a digital age, and where it might be headed. Read more
13 July 2017
The Classification Office has classified the anticipated and controversial Netflix film To The Bone
Read more about this media release
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
25/08/2017 - R16: Graphic violence, offensive language and cruelty Read more about Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
What’s it about? Wolfenstein II returns to an alternate history where the Nazis won World War II. Following that game’s explosive ending, hero B.J. Blazkowicz is found broken and bleeding. Saved by his friends and family of resistance fighters, B.J. recovers and the team set out to foment revolution in the United States of America. During the course of the game, players control B.J. to sneak and fight through the ruined cities and military complexes of the Nazi Empire. Pistols, machine guns, laser guns, shotguns and explosives all feature, alongside quieter weapons like an axe. Bookending the violent gameplay, are stylish cutscenes where the story of revolution and camaraderie unfolds.
What to expect? An entertaining, emotive and very bloody take on repetitive Nazi killing. Due to the degree of bloody violence depicted, the unrestricted availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. The regular use of highly offensive language also presents some potential for harm. The frequent blood and gore of decapitation and dismemberment, alongside a threatening scene of domestic violence, are particularly likely to shock and disturb younger audiences.
The larger than life sci-fi setting means the violence against heavily armoured Nazis would be able to be contextualised by older teenagers, and is unlikely to cause them serious harm.
07/08/2017 - R16: Violence and offensive language Read more about The Hitman's Bodyguard
What’s it about? The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action comedy about a bodyguard who is hired by his ex-girlfriend, an Interpol agent, to protect a hitman who is about to testify in the International Criminal Court against a murderous Belarussian dictator. The bodyguard is a highly-strung perfectionist named Michael Bryce (played by Ryan Gosling), who lost his “triple A” rating as a professional bodyguard two years ago when an important client was assassinated on his watch. As it turns out, the client was assassinated by Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), the hitman who needs protecting. The pair are suddenly thrown together after Darius’ Interpol protection squad are killed, and have to overcome their mutual animosity while surviving countless attempts on their lives by hired Belarussian soldiers and thugs.
What to expect? The film is a big-budget action comedy starring two well-known Hollywood actors. Much of the film’s appeal comes down to the ridiculously over-the-top action set-pieces and humorous interplay between two very dissimilar characters. The film is likely to have wide appeal, but is unsuitable for children and young teens given the amount of violence, cruel elements, and widespread use of highly offensive language. The violence, which is quite bloody at times, is likely to be disturbing to young viewers, and may desensitize or inure some to violence more generally by presenting it as entertaining and exciting, and consequence-free.
Older teens and adults can place this material in the context of an entertaining but violent piece of fictional entertainment.
20/07/2017 - M: Contains violence Read more about The Black Prince
What’s it about? The Black Prince is a film with a running time of around 120 minutes. The film tells the story of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last king and a tragic hero of the once-prosperous Sikh kingdom that spread across the northern plains of India’s Punjab until British soldiers annexed the territory following two wars in the mid-19th century. Singh became a spoil of war, and was moulded into a proper English gentleman, made to renounce his Sikh faith and baptized a Christian. He became an exotic favourite in the court of Victoria, who nicknamed him “the black prince.”
What to expect? The film is a historical biopic about a man torn between two cultures, and his journey to regain his identity and the freedom and autonomy of the Sikh people. There are very few, brief, depictions of violence. These depictions and the threat of other violence may momentarily shock some children. However, children and younger teenagers are also unlikely to engage in the storyline which is very slow and complex.
It would be unreasonable to restrict the availability of the film. The violence means that a recommendation that the film is more suitable for mature audiences is appropriate.
07/07/2017 - R13: Violence and content that may disturb Read more about Erased Vol 1
What’s it about? Based on a manga of the same name, it follows 29 year old Satoru Fujinama as he is subjected to a mysterious power he calls ‘Revival’. This sends him back a few minutes in time, allowing him an opportunity to avert disaster and save lives. However when he finds his mother Sachiko lying murdered in his apartment, Satoru is sent back eighteen years, returning to his childhood to unravel the mystery around a shocking crime.
What to expect? Erased Vol 1 presents some disturbing and violent content in its intriguing tale of time-travel and criminal investigation. As the crimes and cruelty dealt with are directed towards children, they are likely to prove disturbing to most audiences, particularly children. As a result the unrestricted availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. The degree of violence depicted also supports a need for restriction.
10/07/2017 - R16: Violence, offensive language, sex scenes and content that may disturb Read more about Top Of The Lake: China Girl
What’s it about? An Australian series made for television by New Zealand writer/director, Jane Campion. The season follows on from the acclaimed 2013 Top Of The Lake which saw Detective Robin Griffin solving the case of a missing youth before uncovering a grim sex trafficking circle in a small southern New Zealand town. In Season 2, Robin begins work in Sydney on a case that begins with a corpse washed ashore in a suitcase. The mysterious victim is given the case name of China Girl. Robin also reconnects with her daughter Mary who was born 17 years earlier as the result of a brutal rape, explored in the first season. The season works with themes of misogyny, the sexual politics involved in relationships, maternal conflicts, dominance and power, solidarity, socio-economic issues, illegal immigrants, sex-work, and the desperate yearning for parenthood. Commercial surrogacy is a crucial storyline.
What to expect? Top of the Lake: China Girl weaves stories about women into a unique detective drama. It is ambitious, beautifully cinematic, and thoughtful. The plot construction is clever, the writing sharp and the high profile cast present believable characters and fine performances. There are layers of sexual, psychological and socio-political honesty that stir thought and that have the capacity to influence attitudes in positive ways. Nevertheless, there are images and incidents that mean the publication requires restriction. Much of the sexual content will disturb and confuse younger audiences and the issues and difficulties arising from the sex-work, surrogacy and adoption require a level of maturity that children and young teenagers are unlikely to have to have reached. There are also images of cruelty and violence that are likely to shock and disturb.
The series targets older audiences who will be able to make sense of the many complexities presented.
03/07/2017 - Unrestricted M: Violence, offensive language and sex scenes Read more about A Fantastic Woman
What’s it about? Orlando is a man in his mid-fifties who has recently shifted from a heterosexual marriage with children to dating a younger transgender woman, Marina. She is an aspiring singer who works as a waitress. They are very much in love. After a night out celebrating her birthday, Orlando falls sick and dies of an aneurysm. Marina finds herself under suspicion due to bruising on Orlando’s body. She is forced to suffer humiliating physical exams by the police and is treated with contempt by Orlando’s ex-wife Sonia.
What to expect? The dominant effect of the film is of a well-made film which focuses on discrimination and inequality in a poignant manner, and encourages the viewer to engage in considerable reflection. There is one scene of startling cruelty and violence that is likely to frighten and disturb most audiences – however, the threat of violence remains largely implied and does not reach a level that could justify a restriction. There are mild instances of sex and drug use. Younger audiences would be unlikely to recognise this as drug use. The language is strong at times. The film is solemn, and the topics covered and the pace and style of conversations are clearly intended for mature audiences, but there are messages that would be beneficial for any younger people interested in the film.
The risk of injury to the public good is low, so when balanced with the right to freedom of expression, a restricted classification would be unreasonable.