Inxeba (The Wound) has already caused a lot of controversy and debate thanks to it’s intimate exposé of secret rituals around Xhosa circumcision. These frustrations caused many to riot at cinemas which screened the film and the uproar continues until today. However, after a few complaints were made to the The Film and Publication Board about the film’s 16SL rating, a decision was made to increase the rating to a shocking X18 (the same as hardcore porn) which is likely to end the film’s run in South Africa.

In a statement, the board says that “The Film and Publication Board (FPB) Appeal Tribunal has overturned the classification rating of 16 LS given to the film Inxeba – The Wound and gave it a rating of X18 with the classifiable elements of Sex, Language, Nudity, Violence and Prejudice. The reasons for the decision of the Appeals Tribunal are to be shared once they have been finalized and furnished by the Tribunal.”

This has some dire consequences for the film. “A rating of X18 means that the material can only be distributed from designated adult premises,” the statement continues. “This means the film cannot be screened in cinemas or any other platform that is not a designated adult premise as defined by the Film and Publications Act no 96 of 1996 as amended.”

The board reveals that “The Chairperson of the Appeals Tribunal in consultation with other tribunal members agreed to hear the appeal based on applications lodged by CONTRALESA Gauteng and The Men and Boy Foundation. The complaints were largely based on the perceived cultural insensitivity and distortion of the Xhosa Circumcision tradition (Ulwaluko), strong language in the film.”

The film will therefore be pulled from cinemas around the country and its future on streaming platforms such as Netflix has also been put in jeopardy. The new classification also means that the film won’t be able to be purchased at stores such as Musica – a massive blow for the film.

Do you think the FPB made the right decision by changing the classification of the film?

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