Melon Farmers Unrated

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Banned and cut around the world

23rd February

Update: Distressed Dragon...

ASA dismiss whinges about TV advert for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

A TV ad for the film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Cert 18), seen December 2011, showed fast edited scenes which included a fight between two people on an escalator, a man being shot at in the woods, a woman with a large tattoo on her back standing in a shower as if in pain, a knife being drawn from a kitchen knife block, a man lying face down on the floor as if he was dead, two people kissing passionately and a large explosion. For the first six seconds of the ad, on-screen text stated: Contains strong sex and sexual violence .

Five viewers challenged whether the ad was overly violent, distressing and unsuitable for children and was inappropriately scheduled.

Clearcast said the ad was given a post-7.30 pm timing restriction. They felt that, as with all film trailers of that nature, it was a matter of judgment and they had come to the conclusion that the action scenes were very brief, did not linger on any particular shot, and were comparatively restrained in tone, given the nature of the film.

ASA Assessment Complaints Not upheld

The ASA noted that Clearcast had applied a post-7.30 pm timing restriction and that the ad was therefore not shown around programmes commissioned for, or likely to have particular appeal to, under 16-years-of-age.

We noted that the trailer was promoting a film about a murder investigation, based on a best-selling book, and considered that, while there was some tension and suspense in the ad, the scenes which depicted action such as an explosion, a fight, a shooting, a shower scene, a knife, a man lying face down on the floor as if he was dead and two people kissing passionately, were all very fast-cut and brief scenes, and were not strongly violent, visually clear or sexually explicit. We considered that the overall effect of those action scenes was mild and did not consider that the cumulative effect was inappropriate or distressing, when broadcast after 7.30 pm.

We noted that the ad included on-screen text which stated Contains strong sex and sexual violence , and considered that that explained what viewers might expect from the film, but did not consider that that on-screen text was inappropriate or offensive, in and of itself.

Although the ad featured some images which might be inappropriate for a very young audience, we concluded that the ad was not overly violent and distressing and that the scheduling restriction that had been applied was sufficient.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1, 4.2 (Harm and offence) and 32.5.3 (Television Scheduling: Children), but did not find it in breach.


14th February

Update: Tattoo Ban...

Vietnam bans The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo features scenes of violence, rape, torture, nudity. All a bit too much for Vietnamese sensibilities.The film now will not be shown in Vietnam, after the film's distributor withdrew it. This was confirmed by the National Film Board.

However there seems a little doubt as to whether the film was banned due to the film censor's demands, or else just banned in anticipation of the film censor's demands.

Tuoitre news reported that:

The film was to be released on March 2, but its international distributor, Sony Pictures, decided not to release it in Vietnam since the National Film Board requires the studio cut sensitive scenes from the movie.

However VietNam Net Bridge reported that:

The withdrawal has no connection to the Vietnamese censorship because the film had not been submitted to the national film censorship board yet.

Either way it is banned due to local film censorship rules.


5th February

Update: Tattooed with Shame...

India's film censors are 'disturbed' that they are being portrayed as good for nothing film banners after banning The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Film viewers in India were in for some bad when Sony Pictures announced that the keenly-awaited The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo , had been banned. An official Sony statement read:

The Censor Board (of India) has adjudged the film unsuitable for public viewing in its unaltered form. And while we are committed to maintaining and protecting the vision of the director, we will, as always, respect the guidelines set by the board.

News of the ban has not just disappointed viewers, it has also shocked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) who rather expected Sony to accept their long and unacceptable list of suggested cuts. CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur said:

We are disturbed at the bad press it has generated, especially internationally. If they were unhappy with the decision, they should have brought it to the notice of the senior officers. We did not hear from Sony Pictures, nothing was brought to our notice, till we read about it in the papers.

The CBFC's proposed cuts for Dragon Tattoo include two graphic lovemaking scenes between journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara), a lesbian sex scene between Lisbeth and a barfly, a rape sequence and a scene in which she tortures her rapist, with a video of her being assaulted playing in the background. Thakur says the film was issued an A certificate, after extensive cuts, on December 19, 2011.

Sony didn't follow up the option of going to the revising committee to appeal against the cuts either, again to the annoyance of the film censors. Thakur ranted:

CBFC functions like a quasi-judicial organisation. From the lower court you go to the High Court and Supreme Court. So if they had a problem, the producers should have taken it to the next level. Filmmakers have a chance to be heard, cuts are discussed with them. They have lost so much time by not bringing it to our notice.

But Sony's spokesperson took a further dig at the squirming film censor and quickly dismissed the option as useless:

No appeal ever works.

Another issue irking the CBFC is that Dragon Tattoo had faced similar censorship problems in Malaysia and the Gulf countries. Japan rejected the original film too and okayed a revised version with pixellated scenes. Thakur lamented:

If they have accepted that in Japan, then why take such a stand in India?


3rd January

Tattoo Taboo...

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo banned in UAE

The new film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has been very well received by the critics, but will not be screened in the UAE because the film makers have refused to accept the eight cuts suggested by the censors.

Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to make the cuts that were necessary for it to be screened. The filmmakers wouldn't allow it Piroska Szakacs from Empire International told The National.


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