BBFC clear Eastern Promises uncut

I find this incredible. The BBFC are coming under fire for releasing the David Cronenberg film Eastern Promises uncut, despite the high level of violence.

Now my issue is not with the fact that they are releasing it uncut, I’m actually pleased they are, mine is with their inconsistency. The fact that on one hand they are releasing this violent film and on the other banning the videogame Manhunt 2 from being released seems utterly ridiculous., especially considering the violence involved in the film.

The BBFC have approved David Cronenberg’s latest film Eastern Promises, uncut with an 18 certificate, which features, according to The Daily Mail (I haven’t yet seen the film yet) “…graphic scenes of throatslitting, child prostitution and a man having an eye gouged out.”

Well scenes of child prostitution probably don’t mean what the alarmist words suggest, but the two mentions of graphic violence are very interesting considering the BBFC outright banned the videogame Manhunt 2 which features videogame violence. Let me point out that Eastern Promises is filmed with real actors in front of the camera and very real special effects.

A spokesperson for the BBFC said that it was up to adults to decide what they wanted to watch.

“The BBFC provides clear consumer advice. If the board went about cutting out every scene liable to offend then we would be leaving adults without any choice. Who’s to decide what adults can or can’t watch?”

Did you catch that? It’s up to the adults and they can look away from the screens. That’s the rule for actors on screen performing very real acts of violence, but when it comes to computer created videogame characters performing these acts adults seemingly can’t decide, look away or cope with it.

Even the Prime Minister seems to believe that computerised characters have influence over us while real human beings acting out violence do not. According to the story the Gordon Brown admitted to having fears regarding violence in computer games

It’s a bit of an eye opener that the BBFC spokesperson is saying that they are not there to decide what adults can or can’t watch, as that is what they do.

Everything in the article goes against any reasoning for cutting scenes from films, so why do they? Why let Eastern Promises through and ban the videogame Manhunt 2?

You may argue that film have ratings, well so do videogames. You may argue that children can get hold of videogames, and yet they come under the same certification standards as film. Those standards are there to stop retailers selling to underage consumers and parents to ensure their children aren’t playing anything that’s unsuitable for them. It’s just as easy, if not easier, for those underage to get hold of pornography or violent films.

None of these brings a valid reason. Pitching a violent film against a violent videogame results in the film passing uncut and the videogame being banned, and yet the videogame is entirely computer generated and far from reality, the film has expensive and realistic special effects and is live action. Where’s the reasoning there?

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