Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Sex

At home, the Swedish film Ciao Bella has a G-rating meaning that anybody can attend. This is 'despite' some reportedly graphic sex scenes. Apparently, sex is not considered something to be hidden from children in Sweden. That... seems... odd...

I'm a firm believer in sex being good subject matter for a film. Comedies make us laugh, and that's a good thing; horror films give us a jump and a thrill, and that's good too; dramas grab us by the scruff of the neck and sometimes drag us to tears, which is wonderful; films to make us frisky are every bit as valid.

But... er... hang on a minuted. Puberty is a very important mark in life. Before it, sex is inappropriate for all manner of physical and psychological reasons - and I don't just mean the act(s) of sex, I mean the developed understanding and knowledge of sex. Prepubescent children being exposed to sex without the correct contextualisation, no matter how graphic or not, is not 'dangerous' with a risk of negative impact - I believe the negative impact is guaranteed (if possibly minor).

Sadly, Ciao Bella is apprently finding it difficult to get international distribution and it seems that the sex scenes are to be cut in pursuit of a deal. Why? Why can't they be left intact and the film be certificated only for adult consumption? Here in the UK a 15 certificate would seem to be in order, the best option the US have would be an NC-17.


Bori said...

I find it strange that you think the "developed understanding of sex" is inappropriate for prepubescent children (that is children under the age of app. 12). Surely you don't suggest that school aged children should only be told vague and hypocritical stories of "birds and bees", do you? The basic biological and anatomical facts of reproduction/sex are perfectly understandable and appropriate for children even at around the age of 3-5 which is the age when they usually realize that there is an important anatomical difference between men and women.

Brendon said...

No, Bori, I don't believe in Birds and Bees cover ups. But seeing two people engaged in an act of passion and understanding the biological basics are two entirely different things.

Pre-puberty, the machinery can be explained. After puberty, the emotional elements will be felt.

And that's the line as I see it.

Bori said...

Okay, I understand what you mean, but I still don't really see the problem with the rating: I don't suppose many parents would take their children to see this film and a kid who is old enough to go to the cinema alone should also be old enough to see a film depicting sexul acts.

Brendon said...

"I don't suppose many parents..." - one parent is too many.

I'd say a kid is old enough to go to the cinema alone at 12. Probably not old enough to see people having sex at that age.

Bori said...

I think that behind our arguments there is a difference between our opinions on the film rating system, but maybe this is not the appropriate place to get into that discussion. :)

Anonymous said...

Many times this subject leads to a sex vs. violence conversation.

I believe that the best way to gauge the effects on children is to look to those that were sexually abused as children. People that were victims of violence often grow up to be perfectly well adjusted adults. Many of those that were sexually molested are scarred for life.

With violence, I think superhero violence is fine, I wouldn't take a child to Kill Bill. Sexually explicit material is not for children as I do believe the impact is much more negative.

Anonymous said...

Violence is simple in film most of the time; what-you-see-is-what-you-get. But sex is complex; what-you-see-is-questionable.

Plus childeren are yet to develop into the state which allows them to understand the motivations of sex. But they can understand, anger, hate or frustration for eg, that may motivate violence.