A SERBIAN FILM Sodomized, Slashed Up In The UK

The British film censors cut a whopping four minutes plus from the extreme, hardcore political allegory A SERBIAN FILM.

There’s no denying that A Serbian Film is a tough movie (my review of it is right here). But like it or not, the graphic content of the film is a large part of the point of the film - a point you may be missing if you see the film in a UK movie theater next month.

The BBFC - the British Board of Film Classification - has removed over four minutes from the film, hacking away at much of the violence and sexuality. This makes A Serbian Film the most heavily censored movie to play the UK since 1994. And censored is the right word - unlike the US’s imperfect but non-governmental MPAA, the BBFC decides if a movie can or cannot play in the UK.

I am curious what exactly was cut. The Guardian has this vague quote from a BBFC spokeswoman saying: “A number of cuts were required to remove elements of sexual violence that tend to eroticise or endorse sexual violence.” I know that UK Frightfest tried to play the film but the cuts demanded were too extensive for them and they dropped the movie from their line up. Talking to some folks in the know at the time I was baffled by some of the inane cuts the BBFC wanted - a scene in the opening where a child happens upon his ex-porn star father’s sex work was fine, but a scene a little later where he asks his mother about what he just saw had to be cut. Is this the kind of nonsense the BBFC is trimming?

I’ve also heard a rumor that the producers have a version of the movie that was shot and edited to be R-rated. If that’s the case I don’t know what it hasn’t been trotted out for the UK release; maybe that R version was just a bad rumor.