Appeal to overturn Inxeba's X18 rating in court on Tuesday
An appeal against the reclassification of controversial film Inxeba (The Wound) will be brought before the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday.
The producers of the film, which tells the story of a gay factory worker who travels to the rural Eastern Cape to oversee the Xhosa initiation process, have sought an urgent court interdict overturning the decision made by the Film and Publication Appeals Tribunal last month to give the movie a X18 rating.
The new rating meant the movie had to be withdrawn from cinemas and only shown in designated adult premises.
The film was originally given a 16LS rating by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) but after complaints were brought before the Appeals Tribunal, it was reclassified.
In its explanation, the tribunal claimed the film held no artistic value and "increased tensions" in society.
"We are of the view that the film is characterised by scenes of strong usage of strong language, insults, which include women and thereby degrading them in society. These further expose women to societal violence such as rape as initiates are encouraged to go taste their manhood on girls as they head back home," read part of the ruling.
In its submission to the court, FPB's Acting Chief Executive Officer Sandile Nene distanced the body from the decision.
In their application for the interdict to overturn the rating, Indigenous Film's Helen Kuun said the tribunal refused producer's requests for them to postpone their ruling on the X18 rating, and had not given them the right to a fair hearing. She further claimed the tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal and thus its decision was "unlawful"
She also refuted claims the film was sexually explicit.
"The present film contains no explicit sexual conduct. It contains only three brief scenes of sexual conduct, none of which are explicit," part of her arguments read.
Representatives of both the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) and the Man & Boy Foundation, who had previously tried to block the film's screenings, are expected to attend the court proceedings.