Srpski Film – A Serbian Film is a Serbian language drama, subtitled in English. It tells the story of a retired porn star, Milos, who is lured out of retirement by an offer of money from a mysterious figure called Vukmir. Vukmir wants Milos to star in what he describes as an artistic film for the foreign market but it soon becomes clear the project will require Milos’ participation in various acts of sexual violence and paedophilia. The film was classified 18 for very strong sexual violence, sex and violence.
The BBFC’s Guidelines state that In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC’s public consultations and the Human Rights Act 1998, at ’18 the BBFC’s guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely [...] where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society – for example, any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts [...] which may cause harm to public health or morals. This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault’. More generally, the Guidelines state that A strict policy on sexual violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level and that intervention, even at the adult level, is more likely with sexual violence or sexualised violence which endorses or eroticises the behaviour and with portrayals of children in a sexualised or abusive context.
Before awarding an 18 classification to Srpski Film – A Serbian Film, the BBFC required forty-nine individual cuts, across eleven scenes. A number of cuts were required to remove elements of sexual violence that tend to eroticise or endorse sexual violence. Further cuts were required to scenes in which images of children are intercut with images of adult sexual activity and sexual violence. It is important to stress that the film makers took precautions to avoid the exposure of the young actors to the film’s most disturbing scenes and that, in the BBFC’s view, no scene is in clear breach of the Protection of Children Act 1978.
Even after cuts, the film’s scenes of very strong sexual violence remain potentially shocking, distressing or offensive to some adult viewers, but are also likely to be found repugnant and to be aversive. They are not credibly likely to encourage imitation. In some scenes Milos witnesses, or is forced to witness, acts of sexual violence, including the suggestion that a new born baby is being raped. In the cut version, the rape of the baby occurs entirely offscreen, implied only by the sounds of the baby crying and by the reactions of the onlooking Milos and Vukmir. Although all clear shots of the baby being raped have been cut by the BBFC, it is worth noting that the film makers used a prosthetic model during the filming of this scene and that no real baby was harmed. Later in the film, when Milos refuses to participate in the acts required of him by Vukmir, he is drugged and forced to continue filming against his will. As Milos regains consciousness, he begins to remember what he has been compelled to do, including decapitating a restrained woman during sex and raping his unconscious wife and son. He also recalls, with the assistance of video recordings, some of the acts perpetrated against himself and others during his period of unconsciousness. This includes one of his female friends being suffocated with a man’s penis, after her teeth have been extracted, and Milos himself being raped. Once again, the cuts required by the BBFC have removed the more explicit moments from these scenes and much of the action is now brief or implied rather than explicitly depicted. Nonetheless, the scenes remain potentially distressing and offensive, even in their cut versions. Cuts were also required to remove shots which imply that children are witnessing sexual violence, sometimes enthusiastically, or where images of children are intercut with images of sexual activity and sexual violence. This includes a scene in which images of a young girl sucking a lolly are intercut with a scene of fellatio, a scene in which the same young girl appears to lean forward excitedly as she witnesses a scene of violent fellatio, and a scene in which Milos’ brother is fellated by a woman whilst watching a family video, featuring his young nephew. All such intercutting has been removed from these scenes. In another scene, Vukmir attempts to persuade Milos to have a sex with an underaged girl. Although Milos refuses, cuts were required to remove shots in which the young girl appears to be encouraging Milos to have sex with her. In spite of the fact that care was taken by the film makers to avoid exposing any of the young actors to anything disturbing, violent or sexual, this juxtaposition of images of children with sexual and sexually violent material is a breach of BBFC policy and Guidelines.
The film contains a number of scenes of very strong bloody violence, including sight of a man’s head being repeatedly smashed with a heavy object until his skull caves in, a man’s throat being torn out in close up, and a man being killed by having a prosthetic erect penis forced into his empty eye socket. These scenes considerably exceed the terms of the 15 Guidelines where Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. Srpski Film – A Serbian Film also contains a number of scenes of strong sex. This includes sight of masturbation, oral sex, group sex, and sexual thrusting, as well as simulated ejaculation onto a woman’s face. These scenes significantly exceed the terms of the 15 Guidelines where Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail.
Srpski Film – A Serbian Film also includes very strong visual and verbal sex references, including to bestiality and paedophilia, very strong language, strong language, and strong nudity, including sight of prosthetic erections.
A Serbian film is a 2010 Serbia adult horror by Srdjan Spasojevic. See IMDb
The general release at UK cinemas is on Friday 10th January 2010.
Video versions are set for 3rd January 2011:
- UK 2011 Revolver Blu-ray for release on 3rd January 2100 at UK Amazon
- UK 2011 Revolver R2 DVD for release on 3rd January 2100 at UK Amazon
The film/DVD/Blu-ray were all passed 18 after 49 BBFC cuts totalling 4:12s
The BBFC commented about the cuts:
Cuts required to remove portrayals of children in a sexualised or abusive context and images of sexual and sexualised violence which have a tendency to eroticise or endorse the behaviour. Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy, and the Video Recordings Act 1984.
The consumer advice is
Contains very strong sexual violence, sex and violence
See trailer from youtube.com