a not entirely unexpected move, the British Board
of Film ‘Classification’ has rejected
the planned DVD release of The
Given the recent treatment of The
Human Centipede 2 and what is clearly
a tightening of censorship rules after a fairly liberal
period, it’s no surprise that the BBFC would
object to this extreme movie, where the line between
staged sexual violence and reality is deliberately
and provocatively blurred.
In a typically pompous press statement, the Board
claim “the principal focus of The Bunny
Game is the unremitting sexual and physical abuse
of a helpless woman, as well as the sadistic and sexual
pleasure the man derives from this. The emphasis on
the woman’s nudity tends to eroticise what is
shown, while aspects of the work such as the lack
of explanation of the events depicted, and the stylistic
treatment, may encourage some viewers to enjoy and
share in the man’s callousness and the pleasure
he takes in the woman’s pain and humiliation."
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: “It
is the Board’s carefully considered view that
to issue a certificate to this work, even if confined
to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board’s
Guidelines, would risk potential harm within the terms
of the Video Recordings Act, and would accordingly
be unacceptable to the public.”
course, whether or not nudity per se equals eroticized
sexual violence is extremely debatable, as is the
suggestion that without context, viewers will be unable
to understand the ideas behind the film. But the BBFC,
who after all never make mistakes and are
entirely consistent with their decisions, know best.
As was the case with The Human Centipede 2,
the BBFC claim the film couldn’t be cut to make
it acceptable, but nevertheless invite the distributors
to make cuts anyway and resubmit (presumably having
to pay again for the privilege).
Trinity X, the prospective distributors, have responded
to the BBFC's ban, calling it "disappointing,
worrying and sad."
Sandell, co-director of Trinity, who acquired the
film during Cannes this year, went on to say: “We
knew the film was challenging and confrontational,
but also felt, as a independent filmmaker, Adam Rehmeir
(the director), had a highly original filmic eye and
had elicited powerful performances from the cast.
We did imagine that the BBFC might ask for cuts but
an outright ban gives the film a twisted notoriety
that, quite frankly, it doesn’t warrant”.
Adam Rehmeier commented : "Rodleen (Gestic)
and I didn't make The Bunny Game
to glamorise prostitution. It is far from an erotic
film. It is a modern cautionary tale grounded in reality."