After a tumultuous debut in the country which resulted in the suspension of screenings at two cinemas in the Eastern Cape, the film Inxeba is in the news again today.
It has emerged that the film and publication board has reclassified it in a category for pornographic movies.
The Film and Publication Board (FPB) announced this morning that its Appeal Tribunal has overturned the classification rating of 16 LS given to the film Inxeba – The Wound. The film has now been given a rating of X18 with the classifiable elements of Sex, Language, Nudity, Violence and Prejudice.
FPB communications manager Manala Botolo told The Citizen she would not strictly define this reclassification as pornography, “as there are other elements.” She also reiterated that the reasons for the decision of the Appeals Tribunal are to be shared once they have been finalized and furnished by the Tribunal.
“A rating of X18 means that the material can only be distributed from designated adult premises. This means the film cannot be screened in cinemas or any other platform that is not a designated adult premise as defined by the Film and Publications Act no 96 of 1996 as amended,” Botolo said in a statement.
She said the chairperson of tribunal and and tribunal members agreed to hear the appeal based on applications lodged by Contralesa Gauteng and The Men and Boy Foundation. The complaints were largely based on the perceived cultural insensitivity and distortion of the Xhosa Circumcision tradition (Ulwaluko), strong language in the film.
Meanwhile, the commission for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural‚ religious and linguistic communities (CRL Rights Commission) is expected to brief the media on decisions it made about the film this afternoon.
Traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape are on record as having protested against the screening of the film, saying that it had inaccurately portrayed the Xhosa initiation tradition and flouted cultural norms and practices.
The CRL Commission recently said the film is “blasphemous to the sacred rituals of initiation” and said the use of Jesus Christ and King Shaka Zulu “poses a concern in our young democracy and the film may incite violence”.
A complaint was received from amaXhosa King Zwelonke Sigcawu, as well as a memorandum from Contralesa and the Man and Boy Foundation.