In a move that has raised concerns among some sections of South Africa, the movie Inxeba (The Wound) has been re-classified by the Film and Publications Board from a rating of 16LS (Language, Sex) to X18. With this re-classification, Inxeba can only be viewed publicly in designated adult viewing cinemas.
What is more concerning is that the FPB, re-classified the film and stated publicly that the reasons for the decision of the Appeals Tribunal are yet to be shared as they are yet to be finalized and furnished by the Tribunal.
"A rating of X18 means that the material can only be distributed from designated adult premises. 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 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," said the FPB in a couple of tweets.
The re-classification follows Inxeba's launch weekend in South African cinemas which was interrupted by protests that resulted in the movie not being screened as advertised and scheduled in some cinemas. Although this was the case, it turned out the producers had already signed an agreement that the movie can be streamed on Netflix.
A rating of X18, as also explained on the FPB website, means that Inxeba can only be viewed as "adult premises" as per South African law. Those who protested the screening and continue to protest the screening of the movie argue that it is an insult to Xhosa tradition of rite of passage for men and that as such it must not be allowed to be screened.
Inxeba has been nominated for an Oscar award.