3 Films that have been banned around the world
Movies are rated so that only audiences for whom the film is appropriate can watch. Ratings systems differ around the world. Sometimes movies might be rated a certain way and you might think that your child is okay to watch it – but then you notice it contains inappropriate material.
“It is vital that parents check whether movies are relevant and appropriate for their children. Many children might want to watch a certain film, however they aren’t aware of the impact the movie might have on them,” says Lilly Allen, a spokesperson and parenting expert from MONEDEROsmart.
Have a look at the three films below that have been banned around the world and see how they can help you understand how to determine whether movies are appropriate for your children or not.
Films that have been banned
Media use is known to greatly affect children, so it’s important that you monitor what they watch. For example, if your child watches a movie with a lot of violence, studies show it might make them act violently out of imitation.
Films can be banned in different countries for a variety of reasons. Individuals often disagree with the ratings, thinking some are justified while others are not.
1. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
In 1982, E.T. was released. The film contains themes of friendship and kindness – however, in Norway, Finland, and Sweden, the film was banned upon release for all children under the age of 12.
The Scandinavian nations determined this ban necessary because of the negative portrayals of all adults in the film. The countries’ regulatory bodies were concerned that children watching E.T. would distrust adults in their lives.
2. Fat Girl
À ma sœur! is a 2001 French film released as Fat Girl in English-speaking countries. The film follows two sisters, Elana and Anaïs, as they confront their sexual attitudes and encounters while on holiday. Elana is attractive, while Anaïs is the “fat” sister.
Fat Girl was “severely restricted” for adults due to its sex scenes around the world, but the true banning of the film was in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario Film Review Board didn’t like the film’s representation of teenage female sexuality. In 2003, the ban was overturned.
3. Cannibal Holocaust
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) is especially known due to its controversial violence. The story follows an NYU professor who returns to the Amazon forest to find and rescue a missing documentary film crew that travelled there to film cannibal tribes. What he finds instead is their film canisters with gruesome footage.
When Cannibal Holocaust was first released, there were (intended) rumours that it was a snuff film and that the director (Ruggero Deodato) was accused of several counts of murder. Later, Deodato revealed the film wasn’t real and that no cast members were harmed.
However, Cannibal Holocaust is still banned in over 50 countries, including Australia and Italy. Some countries have revoked the ban, but many still condemn the film for its violence.
How do you decide if a movie is appropriate for your children to watch?
The best way to work out whether a movie is appropriate for your children is firstly by watching it yourself. When you watch the film, consider if it is too scary, contains too much violence, etc.
Alternatively, you can read about the movie online. There is a lot of information available online about specific films and TV series that can help you determine whether it is appropriate for your children.
If you think that a given movie is not appropriate for your child, simply tell them that they can’t watch it yet. In order to prevent them from feeling like they want to disobey you, come to an agreement whereby when they are a bit older they can watch it.
If you think that a film is okay for your children to watch, you could sit down with them while they watch it. That way if at any point they get scared or don’t like the film, you can simply turn it off.