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Office of Film & Literature Classification

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

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

Our featured decision for 13 Reasons Why: Season 2. See our episode-by-episode guide here

A website for NCEA students studying the classification system.

Latest news and blog posts

Blog post - Chief Censor: That "c" word

31 May 2018

Episode guide - 13 Reasons Why Season 2 Episode Guide

18 May 2018

Featured decision - 13 Reasons Why: Season 2

18 May 2018

Featured decision - Deadpool 2

11 May 2018

Blog post - The handy model of brain development

01 May 2018

Video series - Talking to young people

01 May 2018

Media release - It's not everyone's fiction

08 March 2018

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.

Chief Censor applies RP18 classification to 13 Reasons Why Season 2

16 May 2018

Chief Censor David Shanks warns parents and caregivers of vulnerable children and teenagers to be prepared for the return of 13 Reasons Why Read more

It's not everyone's fiction

09 March 2018

A short film by young filmmakers, part of our 'Minds Over media' campaign. Read more about the short film

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

15/06/2018 - R13: Violence, sexual references and content that may disturb Read more about Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition

What’s it about? Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition is a high-fantasy role playing game set in a vibrant world of magic and mystery. From a 3/4 overhead perspective the player controls a party of up to four characters as they complete quests, defeat enemies and collect loot. The turn-based combat is enhanced by a unique system of physical interactions, where elemental spells and environmental effects combine in logical and at times explosive ways.

What to expect? The game is a lengthy and engaging fantasy role playing game which is highly reactive to player choices. It contains frequent depictions of tactical combat, which may result in bloody gore. While this is limited by the overhead perspective and fantasy setting, coupled with scenes of cruelty and horror, these are likely to prove disturbing to younger players. Alongside some flowery but rather suggestive sexual references, the game is clearly intended for a mature audience. All things considered, Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition is best restricted to those aged 13 years and over.

07/06/2018 - R16: Violence and cruelty Read more about Inuyashiki

What’s it about? Inuyashiki is a superhero action film set in contemporary Tokyo. Ichirō Inuyashiki is a middle-aged office drone with incurable cancer who is constantly disparaged by his family and his boss. One evening he is blinded by a bright light in a park and wakes up to find he has become a weaponised cyborg. Empowered, he also discovers he can cure people of terminal afflictions, which gives him a new lease on life. However, that same night a teenager (Hiro Shishigami) was also in the park, and has undergone the same transformation. But Hiro decides he is no longer human, devolving into a cold blooded mass murderer who exacts revenge on anyone who provokes him. With Japan’s citizens under threat, meek and mild Inuyashiki becomes a reluctant hero.

What to expect? Inuyashiki is a superhero action film with a strong emphasis on character development. It contains scenes of moderately graphic violence which are likely to disturb younger viewers, particularly where they involve a high degree of cruelty such as the murder of an innocent family. The frequency of the violence, and the manner in which mass murder is treated rather casually, are also likely to desensitise younger viewers. However, older teenagers and adults have the maturity to put these elements of the publication into the context of a superhero action thriller in which the viewer has some sympathy for the villain.

01/06/2018 - R16: Horror and content that may disturb Read more about Hereditary

What’s it about?  This is a psychological horror film which follows the Graham family after their mysterious matriarch, Ellen, passes away. Mother Annie is surprised at how little she feels after her mother’s passing, but Charlie, Annie’s disheveled, birdlike 13-year old daughter, is distraught. Annie’s husband Steve gets an eerie phone call in the aftermath — Annie’s mother’s grave has been desecrated. Meanwhile, their son Peter smokes himself into oblivion when not verbally sparring with Annie, with whom he shares a deep, unnerving resentment. Apparitions emerge, strangers stare at Charlie with a haunting sense of knowing, and tragedies continue to unfold, yanking away the veil that only barely masks the horrific history of this family.

What to expect? Hereditary is a slow-burning psychological horror that focuses on grief and the dark secrets that family members keep from one another. It contains a high extent of horror and gore which, when combined with its occult imagery and tense atmosphere, are likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers. Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the maturity to put these elements into their filmic and generic contexts without being negatively affected. As such the film is classified R16.

30/05/2018 - R16: Violence, domestic violence, sexual material, drug use and offensive language Read more about Detroit: Become Human

What’s it about? Detroit: Become Human is a cinematic science-fiction videogame which follows three androids as they encounter ideas of sentience and perhaps become sentient themselves. Connor is an android that works with the police to investigate the uptick in androids who are acting irrationally, often harming humans. Kara is a housekeeping android, owned by Todd and his young daughter Alice. Todd frequently flies into violent rages, and mistreats Kara and Alice. Markus is a caretaking android who helps an elderly artist, Carl. Carl believes that androids are capable of sentience and treats Markus with dignity. However, Carl’s human son Leo resents their close relationship.

What to expect? Gameplay consists of a series of quick-time events and dialogue options. The story moves between the three characters, with each scenario branching apart through player choices. How these diverge depends on the conversations and events which the player chooses to engage in (or not engage in).

Emotionally driven and dramatic, Detroit asks players to contemplate the nature of humanity and other searching questions. Across its story it contains many scenes of violence which are likely to shock and disturb younger audiences. There are references to sex and the use of highly offensive language, as well as depictions of suicide and drug use, which indicate that it is intended for a mature audience, and further support a need for restriction. A scene of domestic violence, and Todd’s abusive treatment of Kara and Alice generally, is likely to trigger a strong reaction from those who have lived or are living through abusive situations. However, a descriptive note which plainly warns potential players of the domestic violence content in the game is far more likely to prevent this sort of harm than a higher restriction. Within this slow-burning, dialogue driven videogame, older teenagers and adults have the critical ability to place this challenging content within a wider narrative about artificial intelligence, and what it means to be, or not be, human.

24/05/2018 - R16: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Shadow of the Tomb Raider

What’s it about? Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third game in the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. It follows archaeologist and raider of tombs Lara Croft who, accompanied by her friend Jonah, travels to Latin America in pursuit of Trinity, a paramilitary organization dedicated to investigating the supernatural. In the previous game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, it was revealed that Trinity was responsible for Lara’s father’s death. Lara pursues the group to Mexico, where she discovers that they are looking for a Mayan relic which they intend to use to reshape the world. While trying to prevent Trinity from getting hold of the relic, Lara inadvertently sets off a Mayan apocalypse. She must now stop Trinity from fulfilling their goals while attempting to save the world.

What to expect? Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a fantastical adventure of survival and discovery set in the often hostile Peruvian jungle. While the game focusses primarily on exploration and puzzle-solving, it contains regular acts of bloody combat violence and non-interactive sequences of gore-based horror and cruelty. The pervading sense of physical danger to Lara also adds to the impact. There is frequent use of offensive language. These depictions are likely to inure younger audiences to violence and its consequences more generally, as well as disturb them.

Older teenagers and adults have the ability to contextualise these elements as part of an action-adventure game.

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.

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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