British Board of Film Classification

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Type of media Film

Approved Running time 78m 10s

Release date 16/07/2010

BBFCInsight Contains infrequent gory moments

Genre(s) Drama

Director(s) Catherine Breillat

Cast includes Dominique Thomas, Daphne Baiwir, Lola Creton, Marilou Lopes-Benites, Lola Giovanetti

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 06/07/2010

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

BARBE BLEUE is a subtitled French period drama about an orphaned young woman who agrees to marry a wealthy Lord, despite rumours about his previous wives having met terrible ends. The film was classified ‘15’ for infrequent gory moments.

The film contains only one scene featuring occasional gory moments, in which a young girl enters a room and finds a large pool of blood, over which are suspended the bodies of three dead women. No obvious injuries are visible on the women but there are some streaks of blood on their arms and legs. The girl wades around in the pool of blood for a while and the blood starts to soak into the hem of her long nightgown. There are also later scenes in which blood is seen on hands after they have handled a blood-covered key. Although none of these sequences contain any violence or injury, the BBFC’s Guidelines at '12A'/'12' state that there should be ‘no emphasis on injuries or blood’. The focus on blood in these moments exceeds that allowance. Further brief gory moments include the severing of the head of a live duck. The killing is quick and clean and therefore does not constitute animal cruelty in breach of the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. After the duck's head is severed, the bloody neck stump is visible for some time as the duck's carcass continues to flap. The film also contains sight of a character’s severed head sitting on a platter, with some blood around the edge of the neck.

The film includes some scenes of emotional distress as characters weep over the body of a dead man. It also includes some knife threat, as a blade is held against a woman’s throat, and some mild sex references as a couple of young sisters discuss what 'homosexual' means.


Also known as
New Wave Films Ltd
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
78m 10s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
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