Following Thursday’s Gauteng High Court, Pretoria judgment, which has the practical effect that the film is now back to its original no-under-16 age restriction, the foundation said it would go back to the Film and Publication Board to apply for reclassification of the film, to be rated XX18.
The executive director of the foundation, Nkululeko Nxesi, said they were happy that Judge Joseph Raulinga has confirmed what they had been arguing from the start.
The foundation, as well as the Congress of Traditional leaders of South Africa, objected to the film on various grounds. These included that the film was insulting and degrading to black African women, that it exposed these women and children to sexual violence and assault, and that it showed total disrespect of the traditional initiation practice.
“The judge agreed with us on these issues This is what is important to us. Any film must strike a balance between freedom of expression and human and cultural rights.”
Nxesi said the only thing Judge Raulinga found to be wrong was the procedure followed by the Film and Publication Appeal Tribunal.
The judge found that the appeal tribunal did not have the power in terms of the Films and Publication Act to reclassify the film from a 16 age restriction to a X18 SNLVP rating, which rendered the film as pornographic.
He also concluded that the appeal tribunal did not act procedurally fairly when it reclassified the film.
But the judge, who viewed the film before he heard the review application, made it clear that the contents of the film were offensive to some people.
The film is set in the rural Eastern Cape and the action is based on a Xhosa initiation school and the interaction between the initiates. There are homosexual sex scenes.
Judge Raulinga said that, in this case, right to freedom of expression had an effect on the rights of the Xhosa traditional group.