strong sex, drug misuse

From Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, Loro is a biopic of politician and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, exploring themes of power, corruption and deceit through his extravagant and at times debaucherous lifestyle.

Key classification issue: drug misuse

At 15, content as a whole should not glamorise or promote drug misuse, especially the misuse of harder drugs. For example, a sequence may briefly associate drug misuse with wealth, fame or success, but other scenes should undercut this portrayal with aversive or cautionary messaging. If content does not offer this counterbalance, it is likely to require an 18.

A key area of concern is if drugs are portrayed as enhancing sexual experiences. In Loro, there is an extended sequence at an elaborate pool party in which a man profiles the effects of MDMA on users. As the camera shows the young, stylish party goers – some of whom are naked – the man describes the effects of the drug on people’s libido. As colourful pills rain from the skies, people start to dance, have fun and engage in sexual activity.

The sequence is neither brief nor discreet, and conflates drug misuse with glamour and sex. It is not clearly challenged elsewhere in the film, and those depicted do not appear to suffer negative consequences as a result of the drugs. Our research has shown that people are concerned about material which may encourage teens to take drugs, and so such content is unlikely to be permitted at 15. This was the case for Loro, in which the glamorised portrayal of drug misuse resulted in us classifying the film 18 for strong sex, drug misuse.