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Office of Film & Literature Classification

Our research report, NZ Youth and Porn.

An online version of Challenging Media, our Parents' Guide.

A series of videos about talking to young people, part of our 'Minds Over Media' campaign.

A website for NCEA students studying the classification system.

Latest news and blog posts

Media release - Young people and porn - the real story

05 December 2018

Research - NZ Youth and Porn

05 December 2018

Featured decision - A Star is Born

06 November 2018

Featured decision - They Shall Not Grow Old

30 October 2018

Blog post - Chief Censor: That "c" word

31 May 2018

Episode guide - 13 Reasons Why Season 2 Episode Guide

18 May 2018

Video series - Talking to young people

01 May 2018

What do the ratings/classifications mean?

What do the ratings/classifications mean?

All about rating/classification labels and descriptive notes.

Read moreabout classifications

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.

Young people and porn – the real story

05 December 2018

Read the press release supporting the release of our report: Young people and porn – the real story Read more

Evidence coming on impacts of pornography on young New Zealanders

05 November 2018

The Chief Censor warns that decisions on the impacts of online pornography must be based on evidence Read more

Young New Zealanders Viewing Sexual Violence - Stage 3

04 July 2017

Our research into young people's thoughts and experiences on viewing sexual violence in media. Read more about our research on young people viewing sexual violence

Recent classification decisions

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

06/12/2018 - M: Violence and sexualised imagery Read more about Dead or Alive 6

What is it? Dead or Alive 6 is a one-versus-one fighting game developed for modern consoles and PC. The main draw is as a competitive fighting game, where players face off against each other in local and online matches, as well as versus computer-controlled opponents for practice. A swathe of quests, consisting of brief battles with completion requirements, further challenge players to complete them and unlock new accessories and costumes. The game also features a somewhat disjointed story mode, with brief cutscenes and mission-selection text gesturing at a wider story.

What to expect? Dead or Alive 6 deals with a high extent of unrealistic and heightened martial arts violence, and some sexualised imagery. The degree to which these elements are dealt with is limited. Instead, the overall effect of the game is more about fast-paced decision making than revelling in violence. As such, the game is unlikely to cause children lasting harm.

19/11/2018 - R16: Violence, offensive language, and sex scenes Read more about Widows

What is it? The film follows Veronica Rawlins, the wife of robber Harry Rawlins, after he and his associates are killed in a botched heist. After she is threatened by crime boss and political contender Jamal Manning (Harry’s final target), she contacts the widows of Harry’s associates, asking them to help her pull off a heist in order to pay Jamal back and start anew. Each of the widows has been left worse off after their husbands’ deaths: Linda Perelli has her business repossessed, Alice Gunner is coerced into prostitution by her abusive mother, and Amanda is left raising a five-month-old child on her own.

Meanwhile, Jamal wants to become alderman of the 18th ward of Chicago. The election battle between him and dynastic incumbent Jack Mulligan becomes increasingly volatile as Jack struggles to navigate the hypocrisy of pretending to care for the people when he simply wants power.

What to expect? Widows is a dark and dramatic film, which uses the disempowered positions of four women to present a unique take on the heist genre and discuss socio-political issues in modern society. Its slow pace and grim tone is unlikely to appeal to children and teenagers. The level of cruelty and violence in the film, as well as its realistic presentation, is likely to shock and disturb young audiences, as well as inure them to violence and its consequences more generally. The throughline in the film around domestic violence – and its lack of resolution in particular – is likely to shock and disturb younger audiences. The level of sexual material (given its juxtaposition against domestic violence), moral ambiguity around crime, and offensive language are also likely to impact younger audiences negatively, as they are unlikely to have the social and critical experience to contextualise these as dramatic and filmic commentary on real-world power structures.

16/11/2018 - M: Contains violence Read more about The Last Sharknado: It's About Time

What is it? The sixth and final instalment of the Sharknado film series. The film depicts Fin and the gang using time travel to stop sharknados from ever happening in history. Fin and his now-adult son Gil travel back 66 million years in order to destroy the phenomenon of sharknados once and for all. The team battle through history and face dinosaurs, knights, cowboys and – of course – sharks, eventuating in a final battle between a futuristic-April-robot and a tired Fin.

What to expect? The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time is a low-budget B-movie with a far-fetched storyline, unconvincing acting and visual effects, but a sense of fun and humour. There are occasional scenes of violence and some images that may frighten very young children (such as exaggerated and unrealistic loss of limbs), but the artificial nature of its presentation substantially reduces the overall impact.

09/11/2018 - M: Contains violence Read more about Thugs of Hindostan

What is it? Thugs of Hindostan is an epic action-adventure film, spoken in Hindi with English subtitles. Set in 1795, the film follows a band of Indian ‘thugs’ who fight back against the British East India Company and their occupation of Indian land. The film has a star-studded cast, and apparently was made with the biggest budget in Bollywood history. Our staff likened the film to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as it has plenty of humour, period costume and swashbuckling action. Song and dance routines add to the fun.

What to expect? The film depicts a moderate extent of cruelty and violence. For the most part, these depictions are sanitised; however, younger children may be distressed by the violent content, so parental guidance is advised. There are a few instances where prisoners are treated cruelly, including a young boy and an older man. These scenes are brief.

There are several large-scale battle scenes where characters are injured by cannon balls, swords and bullets. Overall there is little blood or focus on injuries but we do see occasional, fleeting close-ups of stabbings. There are two scenes where people briefly flail about as they are caught on fire – these are the strongest scenes of bodily harm.

12/10/2018 - M: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

What is it? Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a hybrid turn-based strategy/adventure game that is played from a third-person perspective. Players move freely around the environment until they engage enemies in combat, at which point the game seamlessly transitions into a turn-based tactical strategy game, played out on grids.

The game is set after a nuclear apocalypse occurs. Humans (as we know them) have died out, with those that remain mutated and touched by radiation. The player controls a pair of human-animal hybrids, Bormin and Dux. They live in the Ark, the final bastion of civilisation which is slowly running out of resources. Bormin and Dux are “stalkers”, scavengers who venture out of the Ark in order to collect food, water, and scrap for the town, as well as protect them from Ghouls – aggressive, inhuman wanderers who roam the world. When a veteran stalker goes missing, Bormin and Dux are sent on a mission to find him. They discover that the stalker was searching for the mythical Eden, a paradise where humanity might still remain.

What to expect? Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is an engaging and challenging hybrid turn-based/adventure game set in a post-human society. It contains regular depictions of sci-fi violence and mild elements of horror, however these are unlikely to shock and disturb children to a degree where a legal restriction would be warranted. Outside of this there is the occasional use of highly offensive language; again this is unlikely to harm young viewers and as such restricting on these grounds would be unwarranted.

11/10/2018 - R16: Violence and offensive language Read more about Bad Times at the El Royale

What is it? Bad Times at the El Royale is a mystery thriller film set in 1969. It follows six strangers who find themselves at the El Royale, a rundown hotel on the border of California and Nevada. The characters include Darlene, a struggling singer; Father Flynn, a priest; Laramie, a vacuum cleaner salesman; and Emily, who has just rescued her younger sister Rose from a cult. The guests are looked after by Miles, the hotel’s sole staff member and concierge. However, the hotel has two-way mirrors from which Miles is required to spy through and film his guests. The film follows a non-linear storyline, presenting various events from the perspective of each guest, until Billy Lee, Rose’s dangerous cult-leader boyfriend, shows up at the El Royale.

What to expect? An enthralling mystery film. The film’s treatment of violence is somewhat sensationalised. The realistic, sudden, and bloody deaths depicted are likely to be shocking and disturbing to children and younger teenagers. The use of offensive language also supports a restriction.

Older teenagers and adults are emotionally and intellectually mature enough to distinguish it as fiction.

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!

  • TTYP: Thinking critically

    Video transcript - TTYP: Thinking critically

    The video clip is 42 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: Thinking critically appears on screen.

    I think we kind of need to apply and teach people critical thinking powers to actually see what the underlying assumptions are; actually evaluate them in terms of your own experience and then draw some conclusions about what you're watching, rather than just jumping to conclusions. So I think it's really important that we teach young people right now as they're growing up, even from childhood on, that entertainment is entertainment - it's not reality. Yes we make movies of reality, but at the same time we're doing that for a purpose sometimes to help us reflect and think about ourselves so that we can actually say, "Well are we ok with this?"

    This is intercut with footage from Black Mirror of a young man watching a sexualised music video.

    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: Getting started is easy

    Video transcript - TTYP: Getting started is easy

    The video clip is 28 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: Getting started is easy appears on screen.

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

    Watching a movie together is really good, because then you can go, "So what did you think about when that guy kissed her? What do you think about when that guy pushed her over because she wouldn't kiss him? What did you-" and kind of start at that level and kind of have those conversations around something you're watching. It's not the big talk but you pick up on that opportunity of watching something which you know is probably going to touch on those subjects and then you can talk about it.

    This is intercut with footage from 13 Reasons Why of a young woman sliding down a slide and kissing a young man.

    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: A handy guide to brain development

    Video transcript - TTYP: A handy guide to brain development

    The video clip is 2 minutes and 15 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: A hnady guide to brain development appears on screen.

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

    I'm so glad you asked because now I can do my handy model of brain development! So brains develop from the bottom up. So this bit here is your spinal cord going down the back of your neck. The base of the thumb is the base of your brain and that controls all your organs without you having to think - the automatic nervous system, I call it - and your noradrenaline-adrenaline production; the bit that reacts to fear - that gets you going basically. That's all linked in online when you're born but not much else.

    So all the structures are there but they're not online. The first five years of life you can actually see it through your eyes, because you can see them learn to walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time, and then this bit in the middle - the thumb - is your limbic system. And that's the bit which deals with emotion and new ways of laying down memory. The amygdala's there and the amygdala's really important because that's the bit that looks for danger and it's really on hyper alert with young people and it's firing up like mad, really coming online so their amygdala is much bigger than an adult's. So they're hyper alert already. If they've had bad experiences growing up, that's hyper alerted them as well - their already developed amygdalas.

    But this bit, which is the bit - the cortex - that brings in your thinking about thinking and your ability to think is only online about 20% of the time for teenagers. So they think with their emotions and that's what you have to be aware of when they're exposed to all this media stuff. Adults have that thinking to critically review it and say, "This isn't real, this is rubbish; this doesn't equate with anything I know" but teenagers haven't got that. So adults need to be the frontal cortex for their teenagers, to be able to help them calm down their amygdalas, which go zooming off with horror stuff. We all like a bit of a noradrenaline buzz, that's why horror movies do so well, but at the same time not overly much.

    Because some young people will have that horror buzz for two years after they've seen something and that's going to affect how they function in their lives. So really important that parents are there to help filter and to help do that critical thinking.

    This is intercut with footage from Black Mirror of a child being taken care of by her caregivers, and seeing other students in a playground watching media.

    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: Concrete vs abstract thinkers

    Video transcript - TTYP: Concrete vs abstract thinkers
  • TTYP: Flipping your lid

    Video transcript - TTYP: Flipping your lid
  • TTYP: Suicide

    Video transcript - TTYP: Suicide
  • TTYP: Checking your emotions

    Video transcript - TTYP: Checking your emotions

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