The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has had to withdraw a film from its schedule as it has been banned by the Film & Publication Board of South Africa. “Bog of Beasts’, a Brazilian feature film about child abuse, has been deemed pornographic by the FPB.
Says Festival Manager Nashen Moodley: “We have always had a good relationship with the FPB in the past. As we screen in the region of 200 films at the festival each year, the FPB usually gives us an exemption from classification as it is not logistically possible for them to view all the films in the short time available before the festival.
“In the case of “Bog of Beasts’, someone contacted the police and told them we were in possession of child porn. We have since been advised not to return the film to its producers as that would be seen as “distributing child porn’. I have written a letter of appeal to the FPB saying the film has won awards [Tiger Award, Rotterdam Film Festival] and that its withdrawal from our schedule is damaging to the Festival.
“Bog of Beasts’ is indeed a very harsh and harrowing film about a poor young Brazilian girl growing up in a village where sexual violence is a way of life. But the DIFF does not consider it pornographic.’
The film was meant to have been screened as part of the Poverty and Indqulity Challenge Film Festival, with runs within the DIFF.