Watch Chief Censor David Shank's presentation at TEDxChristchurch 2019, When censorship becomes necessary
Our research report, NZ Youth and Porn.
An online version of Challenging Media, our Parents' Guide, now available in Te Reo Māori.
31 October 2019
17 October 2019
10 October 2019
23 September 2019
11 September 2019
09 August 2019
13 December 2018
05 December 2018
Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
10 October 2019
Read our press release regarding the German livestream video, which has been classified objectionable. Read more
05 December 2018
Read the press release supporting the release of our report: Young people and porn – the real story Read more
05 November 2018
The Chief Censor warns that decisions on the impacts of online pornography must be based on evidence Read more
08/07/2019 - R16: Violence, offensive language and horror. Read more about Crawl
What is it? Crawl is a horror film from the United States. It follows Haley, an elite swimmer, who has a conflicted relationship with her father Dave. During a massive hurricane, Haley’s sister tells her that she cannot get in contact with her father. Haley, worried about her father, goes against the town's orders of evacuation in order to find her father. She manages to find her father unconscious in the crawlspace of her childhood home. With absolutely no chance of rescue, Haley and Dave have to survive rising waters and marauding alligators in order to escape from the hurricane.
What to expect? A simple, yet effective and tightly-paced horror film that is set in a claustrophobic environment. The realistic and graphic scenes of body horror are likely to seriously shock and disturb younger audiences, especially in combination with the deliberately threatening and danger-filled tone of the film.
Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the experience and critical literacy to place these gory scenes as part of a horror film which lessens the impact for these groups.
14/06/2019 - R13: Contains violence, offensive language and sex scenes. Read more about Parasite
What is it? Parasite is a dramatic and engaging South Korean film from director Joon-ho Bong. It follows the Kim family of con artists as they integrate themselves into service of the wealthy Park family. Beginning with son Ki-woo Kim’s recommendation as an English tutor for the Park’s daughter Da-hye, he in turn recommends an ‘acquaintance’ – the Kim’s daughter Ki-jung as an art therapist for the boy Da-song Park. Then both the father Ki-taek and mother Chung-sook are hired on as a new driver and housekeeper once the Kim’s frame their predecessors as no longer suitable for the Park household. However, maintaining their positions prove to be an increasingly difficult task.
What to expect? The film is an entertaining and characterful film which deals with the social conspiracies of a family of con artists. It contains the use of highly offensive language, some frankly discussed sexual themes, and a clothed-but-relatively-strong sex scene which ensure the film is not suitable for younger audiences. However it is the mix of cruelty and bloody violence which marks the film’s dramatic conclusion which is particularly likely to shock and disturb younger viewers.
19/03/2019 - R16: Violence, offensive language and sexual material Read more about Destroyer
What is it? Destroyer is a crime drama film from the United States. It follows LAPD detective Erin Bell, who arrives on the scene of a John Doe murder and informs the responding officers that she knows the identity of the murderer. At the police station, Erin receives a $100 bill stained with dye, in an unmarked envelope. Using a contact at the FBI, she confirms that the bill is from a bank robbery committed by a California gang 16 years prior – the same gang that she and her former partner Chris were embedded in as undercover officers. She believes the bill and the John Doe murder to be proof that the gang's leader, Silas, is once again active. Erin is forced to work her way through the remaining members of the gang in order to find Silas and seek revenge.
What to expect? A slow-burning drama that deals with the main character’s complex emotional life and psychological trauma. It contains spikes of violence and cruelty in emotionally bleak yet intense situations that are likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers. A disturbing scene of implied sexual activity is also likely to shock and disturb these groups. Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the experience and critical literacy to contextualise the stronger elements of the film as part of an emotionally heavy crime drama, which mitigates their impacts. The moral ambiguity surrounding all of the characters in the film suggests that the film is intended for a mature audience.
28/02/2019 - R13: Bloody violence and content that may disturb Read more about Greta
What is it? Greta is a thriller film set in New York City. Frances, a sweet, naïve young woman, doesn't hesitate to return a handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta, a lonely, eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music. Having recently lost her mother, Frances soon bonds with the widowed Greta. Their friendship quickly escalates into something far more toxic than Frances could ever have known.
What to expect? Greta is an aesthetically beautiful but slow-paced thriller that functions as an allegory on the dangers of trusting strangers too quickly. The depictions of stalking, coercion, kidnapping and entrapment are unsettling and likely to make children fearful of real life situations. Violence is used sparingly, and is primarily featured towards the climax of the film. However, the short but horrifying spike of bloody violence is likely to shocking and disturbing to children, particularly as it is out of character with the rest of the film.
21/02/2019 - R13: Violence, offensive language, drug use and sexual material Read more about Vox Lux
What is it? Vox Lux is a drama film from the United States. In 1999, in her eighth grade year, Celeste Montgomery is shot during a school shooting. She survives but suffers a spinal injury. During a memorial service for the rest of her classmates, she performs a song that she and her sister Ellie had written about the experience. This is captured by the media, and Celeste is catapulted into stardom. The film traces Celeste's career as she rises to worldwide fame, initially spending time in Stockholm where she is initiated into the music business. In 2017, the now-31-year-old Celeste is mother to a teenage daughter of her own, Albertine. A troubled popstar, she prepares for a massive concert while dealing with the media fallout of a terrorist attack that had used her iconography.
What to expect? A dramatic film that focusses first on a young teenager’s burgeoning stardom, and then documents the adult star as an angry, cynical, out-of-control powerhouse. The most impactful scene is the opening school shooting, with an immediate and startling scene of violence that is likely to shock and disturb children. Teenagers and adults are likely to have the experience and literacy to contextualise the scene within the dramatic genre of film. Furthermore, its restrained and brief depiction mitigates the impact of the scene for these groups. The use of offensive language is also likely to negatively impact on younger audiences’ socialisation. Outside of this there is little classifiable content. The references to sex, drugs and suicide are fairly low-level.
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.