bbfc - http://www.bbfc.co.uk

BBFC reference AFF260292
Category
ANTICHRIST
Feature Film
Classified 12 June, 2009 .
Run Time 108m 34s

Consumer Advice:Contains strong real sex, bloody violence and self-mutilation

Hide details for [<font size=2 face="Arial">]Extended Classification Information (*SPOILER ALERT* Information may include plot Extended Classification Information (*SPOILER ALERT* Information may include plot details)

ANTICHRIST is an English language drama from director Lars von Trier. It tells the story of a couple trying to come to terms with the death of their young son. After the mother experiences a mental breakdown, they retreat to an isolated cabin in the woods where the child's father, a therapist, hopes to help the mother to confront her fears. The film was classified '18' for strong real sex, bloody violence and self-mutilation.

At '18', the BBFC's Guidelines state that the more explicit images of sexual activity are unlikely to be permitted unless they can be exceptionally justified by context and the work is not a 'sex work'. A 'sex work' is defined as a work whose 'primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation'. It is clear that ANTICHRIST is not a 'sex work' but a serious drama exploring issues such as grief, loss, guilt and fear. The brief images of explicit real sex (sight of a penis penetrating a vagina during a consensual sex scene and sight of the man's penis being masturbated to climax) are exceptionally justified, in this context, by the manner in which they illustrate the film's themes and the nature of the couple's relationship. Their relationship is depicted throughout in a graphic and unflinching fashion, both psychologically and physically. The BBFC has permitted comparable explicit images in a number of previous features at the '18' level (eg L'EMPIRE DES SENS, 9 SONGS, SHORTBUS and Lars von Trier's earlier film, THE IDIOTS) where it has been clear that the purpose of the work - and the individual images in question - is not simply to arouse viewers but to illustrate characters, relationships and themes.

ANTICHRIST also contains two scenes showing violence towards genitals or genital mutilation. In one case, the man's genitals are hit heavily (although this is not shown on screen), resulting in sight of blood in his semen when he ejaculates. In the other case, the distraught woman cuts off her own clitoris using a pair of scissors. This act of self-mutilation is shown in close up, although the image is only on screen for a few seconds. The shot in question exceeds the BBFC's Guidelines at '15', where 'the strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable' and where 'violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury'. Even at '18' the BBFC recognises that the scene will be shocking and offensive to some viewers. However, the Board is aware of no evidence to suggest that the viewing of this scene is likely to be harmful to adults. The scene is not presented in an eroticised or attractive manner and is not likely to encourage emulation or arousal. Accordingly, the scene is acceptable at '18' where, in line with the consistent findings of the BBFC's public consultations, the BBFC's Guideline concerns will not normally override the wish that adults should be free to chose their own entertainment, within the law.

The film contains other examples of strong violence, including a scene in which the woman drills a hole through the man’s leg with a bit and brace before bolting a large grindstone to the injured limb. Once again, although the scene exceeds the rubric of the '15' Guidelines, it was not felt to be harmful to adult viewers. The film also contains scenes of strong simulated sex, including female masturbation. These scenes exceed the '15' Guideline test that 'Sexual activity may be portrayed but without strong detail' but are acceptable at the '18' level.

ANTICHRIST also includes a single use of strong language.

This work was passed with no cuts made.

The main spoken language in this work is English.

Directed by Lars Von Trier
The cast for this work includes: Willem Defoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

When submitted to the BBFC the work had a running time of 108m 34s.
The running time of this film was calculated from the measured length of 9771+1 ( feet + frames ).

This work was submitted to the BBFC by Artificial Eye Film Co. Ltd .

A film or video, together with associated trailers may exist in several versions and all versions known to the BBFC are listed below.

CategoryTypeDateCompanyRun TimeCutTitle
FilmTrailerFilmTrailer08/06/2009Artificial Eye Film Co. Ltd2m 13sANTICHRIST
FilmFilm12/06/2009Artificial Eye Film Co. Ltd108m 34sANTICHRIST
VideoVideo13/05/2010Artificial Eye Film Co. Ltd103m 57sANTICHRIST
Details are likely to be more complete and accurate for the version submitted most recently.
When a film is transferred to video the running time will be shorter by approximately 4% due to the differing number of frames per second. This does not mean that the video version has been cut or re-edited.
This entry was last updated 18/02/2011
Print this page