Published: 12th June 2009

BBFC Passes Lars Von Trier's Antichrist 18 Uncut

The BBFC has passed Lars Von Trier's latest film, Antichrist, '18' uncut. The film contains images of strong real sex, bloody violence and self mutilation.

The BBFC Guidelines for '18' rated works state that the more explicit images of sexual activity will not be allowed unless they can be exceptionally justified by context and the work is not a 'sex work' whose primary purpose is sexual arousal.  For these purposes Antichrist is very clearly not a 'sex work'.

The film also contains some bloody and violent images, including a scene of genital mutilation.  The Board knows of no research evidence which suggests that the viewing of this scene would raise a significant risk of harm to adult viewers or to society, or which would otherwise justify intervention. There is, therefore, no basis for an exception to the principle, repeatedly endorsed in public consultations, that adults should normally be free to choose what films to watch or not watch. The film was seen by the Director, David Cooke, the President, Sir Quentin Thomas and Vice President, Gerard Lemos.  

David Cooke said:

"Antichrist' deals with what happens to a couple after the death of their child, focussing on the psychological impact on them both.  The film does not contain material which breaches the law or poses a significant harm risk to adults.  The sexual imagery, while strong, is relatively brief, and the Board has since 1990 passed a number of works containing such images.  This reflects the principle, strongly endorsed in a number of public consultations, that adults should be free to decide for themselves what to watch or what not to watch, provided it is neither illegal nor harmful. "There is no doubt that some viewers will find the images disturbing and offensive, but the BBFC's Consumer Advice provides a clear warning to enable individuals to make an informed viewing choice.  And this is now backed up by detailed Extended Consumer Advice on our website."