Censor passes film with real sex scenes

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The Independent Culture

The most sexually explicit film in the history of mainstream British cinema has been passed without any cuts for an adult audience, the censors announced yesterday.

The most sexually explicit film in the history of mainstream British cinema has been passed without any cuts for an adult audience, the censors announced yesterday.

The Michael Winterbottom film 9 Songs, which features real sex scenes including fellatio, ejaculation and cunnilingus, some in close-up, did not contravene any of the current classification guidelines, the British Board of Film Classification ruled.

The movie provoked a storm of sensational headlines when it premiered at the Cannes film festival in May. It features a young couple in London, Matt and his American girlfriend Lisa, and more than half the scenes involve them having sex.

But the BBFC said the sex occurred in the context of the development of a relationship between two people and did not raise issues of harm or sexual violence. When the public had been consulted about sex on screen, most had said it should be a matter of choice whether to see it as long as there was no harm, violence or illegality.

"Some people may find such explicit images shocking or unexpected in a cinema film," a spokeswoman said. "The board's guidelines allow the more explicit images of sexual activity at '18' if they can be exceptionally justified by context. The board has concluded in this case that adults should be free to choose whether or not to see the film."

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