The Hunger Games is the phenomenally successful movie based on the teenage book series of the same name and is currently in pretty much every cinema in the country. But there was a problem.
Unfortunately our ever confused rating department, the FPB, managed to give this movie a rating of 16V thereby removing it from the grasp of its main target audience.
Yes we understand that the movie is quite dark and has some thoughts and ideas that don’t sit comfortably with us, that’s the point. The violence itself is carefully hidden to ensure rating boards don’t rate the movie out of the hands of its intended target.
Thankfully Nu Metro weren’t happy to take the 16V rating lying down and appealed to the FPB and rationality has now prevailed with the ratings board coming back and granting the 13V age restriction to bring South Africa into line with pretty much the rest of the western world.
So if you’re a parent and you are wondering if the movie is acceptable for little Timmy or Dorothy Jane then first take a read through our review (We loved it) and then make your decision based on the fact that it’s officially rated 13V and does have some violence but most of it is left to your imagination and that the themes discussed can be very thought provoking and useful to growing minds.
Also, congratulations to Nu Metro for not taking this lying down.
— Official Press Release —
Johannesburg, 16 April 2012: – Nu Metro Films, the South African distributor of THE HUNGER GAMES, appealed the Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) classification of the film, which was revised from 16V to 13V over this past weekend after careful scrutiny of the film’s content by the board.
The Film and Publication Board is a statutory body created in terms of the Film & Publication Act 65 of 1996. They are the government body appointed to classify all films, interactive computer games, and publications before they may be distributed by way of sale, hire or exhibition in South Africa. Their main objective is the classification of film and other publications to ensure that children are not exposed to content that may be harmful to them either physically or psychologically.
The new classification brings South Africa in line with the international classifications (PG 13 in the USA, 12A in the UK etc.) of the film.
“Many fans of both the book and film would not have been able to see this film on the previous classification,” commented Driki Mitchell, General Manager of Nu Metro Films. “It explores many moral dilemmas but the film’s conclusion is appropriate and justifiable. Despite having these complex and mature themes, the film can be understood – and appreciated – by a young teen audience and we are very pleased with the outcome.”
In THE HUNGER GAMES, every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister’s place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she’s pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
THE HUNGER GAMES is directed by Gary Ross, with a screenplay by Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, the first in a trilogy published by Scholastic that has over 26 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following. It has spent more than 180 consecutive weeks/more than three consecutive years to date on The New York Times bestseller list since its publication in September 2008, and has also appeared consistently on USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.
THE HUNGER GAMES was released in South Africa on Friday, 13 April 2012 and was the number one film for this past weekend, grossing more than R2.7 million in its opening weekend.