Judge to watch Inxeba as legal battle continues

Just 48 hours after Inxeba (The Wound) scooped multiple awards at the South African Film and Television Awards‚ the Film and Publication Board continued to insist the movie had no artistic merit and should be classified with the same rating as hardcore porn. North Gauteng High Court Judge Joseph Raulinga will view the full film today as part of an ongoing legal battle over its X18 rating. Indigenous Film Distribution and Urucu Media‚ the producers‚ are fighting to overturn its recent X18 reclassification by the board. The film documents a gay relationship in the context of an isiXhosa initiation ritual‚ and was previously classified as 16LS. But the Film and Publication Board insists there is no reason to overturn its rating‚ which it said was based on explicit sexual conduct in the film. It says it stands by its evaluation that the film is of no scientific‚ dramatic or artistic merit.

The Man and Boy Foundation‚ Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa‚ South African Healers’ Association‚ Butholesizwe Cultural Development‚ Izinduna Zamakhosi and Ubuhle Bengcule are also all fighting for Inxeba to keep its X18 rating. They are defending the film board decision – and maintain their opposition to the movie is not based on homophobia‚ but rather its portrayal of sexual contact within the context of the isiXhosa initiation ritual, which is not allowed. Lawyers for the film’s producers say the effect of the X18 rating will be that it can only be viewed or purchased at adult premises, known colloquially as “sex shops”, thus preventing even adults from seeing the film in a cinema. The case is set for hearing on Wednesday. – TimesLIVE