British Board of Film Classification

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I'M STILL HERE artwork


Type of media Film

Approved Running time 107m 2s

Release date 17/09/2010

BBFCInsight Contains strong language, twice very strong, sex references & hard drug use

Genre(s) Documentary

Director(s) Casey Affleck

Cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Antony Langdon

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 07/09/2010

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

I’M STILL HERE puports to be a documentary examining a troubled year in the life of Joaquin Phoenix, during which he quits acting and attempts to embark on a second career as a hip-hop artist. The film was classified ‘15’ for strong language, twice very strong, sex references and hard drug use.

The BBFC’s Guidelines at ‘15’ state that ‘There may be frequent use of strong language (for example ’fuck’). The strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable’. The film includes two uses of very strong language and approximately 280 uses of strong language. The two uses of very strong language are directed and abusive but the delivery is not particularly aggressive.

The Guidelines at ‘15’ also state that ‘Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse’. In one scene Phoenix snorts white powder, presumably cocaine, and in another he snorts an unknown brown substance whilst travelling in the back of a car. Moreover, there are at least two scenes in which Phoenix smokes a cannabis joint. Although Phoenix is a Hollywood movie star, he is not seen here at his best. Rather, he comes across as a sad and paranoid individual with possible mental health issues. There is nothing glamorous about the depictions of his drug taking and the work as a whole certainly does not endorse or incite drug misuse.

The strong sex references occur in a scene in which Phoenix and a male associate trawl through an escort agency website on a laptop computer. There are verbal references to ‘hookers’ and ‘butthole smelling’. Shortly afterwards, two bare-breasted women, presumably prostitutes, can be seen in the room. Phoenix's male companion exposes his flaccid penis. Phoenix then nuzzles his face against one of the women's breasts as the other drops to her knees in front of the companion. Fellatio is implied but not seen. The sequence is sufficiently lacking in detail to be permissible at '15' where the Guidelines state that 'Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour'. The film also includes other scenes of nudity, but without a sexual context. There is full frontal male nudity as a man named Larry emerges from a bath and there is a still picture of a shaven-headed Britney Spears in the back of a car. She is wearing no knickers, her pubic hair has been shaved and her genitals are exposed.

I’M STILL HERE also includes a scene in which Anthony, a disgruntled employee, appears to defecate on Phoenix’s head as he sleeps in bed.


Optimum Releasing
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
107m 2s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
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