Today marks the start of Black History Month. This October, we’re shining a light on Black film and cinema - here’s a roundup of our case studies, activities and resources to help you decide what to watch.
Interested in classification history? Written by BBFC staff, our case studies explore why a film has a particular age rating, if it was cut, or even banned:
- Attack The Block (15) was submitted to the BBFC without a category request, but it was clear from the opening scenes of the film that it would appeal to older teenagers. Language was the main consideration from his horror comedy from Joe Cornish.
- Get Out is rated 15 for strong violence, gore, sex references, language. The film contains several scenes in which characters express racist opinions, and endorse or celebrate racist myths and stereotypes; however, the film itself does not endorse discriminatory attitudes or behaviour. You can also download our free discussion resource, and listen to a podcast all about the film.
- Kidulthood is a hard-hitting British film which explores the social experience of being an inner city teenager in London, with bullying, drugs, sexual activity and fighting presented as a daily norm. These became key classification issues for the film when examiners considered the most appropriate age rating. Find out why we rated it 15.
- Interracial relationships and the sometimes extreme reactions to them are the subject of Love + Hate, and this theme proved to be one of the important classification issues.
- Precious arrived in the UK following positive reviews and media interest in the States which focussed on its portrayals of black people – some praising its hard hitting stance, others fearing it fell into negative stereotyping. It’s rated R in the United States, and was submitted with a 15 request.
- Straight Outta Compton depicts the rise and fall of the rap group NWA and its members Eazy-E, Dr Dre and Ice Cube. While we rated trailers for the film 12A, we classified the feature 15.
- Oscar winning 12 Years A Slave is the third feature film by British director Steve McQueen. It was submitted to the BBFC with a 15 request, after being rated R by the MPAA in the USA, and we saw it for an advice viewing before it was formally classified. Read more about the process.
- Do The Right Thing was first seen by the BBFC in May of 1989 and came with a request from the company for an 18 classification for cinema release. The viewing team were split, with two examiners in favour of 18 and one in favour of 15. Find out more.
You and your children can become a compliance officer for the afternoon and have a go at rating a trailer. Consider context, tone and audience and compare your rating with the official BBFC one - all the trailers here were rated U, PG or 12A even though the feature length film may have been rated differently. This Black History Month, you can choose from A Wrinkle In Time, Just Mercy, Mandela Long Walk To Freedom and 12 Years A Slave.
Planning a movie night for the whole family? We’ve got two Movie Night with the BBFC packs, full of everything you need to know about the films as well as activities, games, and discussion points for when the credits roll. Choose from Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse (rated PG for moderate fantasy violence, mild threat, injury detail, innuendo) or the Oscar nominated Hidden Figures (rated PG for discrimination theme, mild bad language).