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''Baise-Moi'' In Court of Appeal: Society v Board

P.O. Box 13-683 Johnsonville

Media Release
18 November 2004
“Baise-Moi” In Court of Appeal: Society v Board

The spotlight will fall afresh today in the Court of Appeal in Wellington, on the Film and Literature Board of Review’s classification decision of the explicit brutal rape-ultra-violence film “Baise-Moi” (Eng.transl. “F*ck Me”). The film features a four-and-a-half explicit rape with close-ups of penetration and a sickening and gratuitous orgy of sex and violence. (The Board has still not issued its decision on the classification of the French anal rape-ultra-violence film “Irreversible” following the Society’s application for review which it received on 5 August 2004).

Following months of deliberations the Board issued two decisions on “Baise-Moi” in 2002 both of which have been the subjects of recent appeals by the Society. All the present board members (with the exception of Ms Ani Waaka) voted to clear “Baise-Moi” for screening at mainstream cinemas in New Zealand as an R18 film (Board members listed below).

The Board’s first decision issued on 13 March 2002 was overturned on an appeal from he Society by the Hammond J. in the Wellington High Court based on two error in law identified by the Court. The Board’s second decision issued on 1 November 2002 was also appealed to the High Court by the Society. The Hon. Justice Goddard ruled against the Society dismissing the appeal and it is that judgement that the Society is appealing in the Court of Appeal on Thursday 18 November 2004, commencing at 10 a.m. The case will be heard by Hon. Justice Anderson, Hon. Justice O’Regan and Hon. Justice Chambers.

The Film and Literature Board of Review will be represented in Court by Mr John Oliver of the Crown Law Office, acting in the role of amicus curiae. Mr Eugen St John, Counsel for the film distributor, Metropolis Films Ltd, whose Managing Director is Mr Gordon Adam of Auckland, will oppose the Society’s submissions before the Court. The Society will be represented by Senior Counsel Mr Peter McKenzie QC assisted by Wellington barrister Mr Lance Pratley.
The Film and Literature Board of Review consists of the following members:

MS CLAUDIA ELLIOTT (President) is a Partner in a Rotorua law firm. She is an experienced legal professional specialising in family, mental health and employment law, and is a youth advocate.

MR GREG PRESLAND (Deputy President) practises as Barrister and Solicitor in Auckland. He serves on a number of subcommittees of the Auckland District Law Society and has extensive experience in Criminal law.

MR MARK ANDERSON is a Scientist at HortResearch in Auckland. He has a strong interest in film and literature.

MR STEPHEN STEHLIN is of Samoan descent and lives in Auckland. He is a producer of Tagata Pasifika, and has a wide range of experience in Maori and Pacific Island television programmes.

MS MARION ORME works as lecturer in Literature, Film and Drama at Massey University College of Education. She has wide-ranging interests in film,
literature, theatre and education.

PETER CARTWRIGHT is Wellington-based. He was until recently the Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Authority and has extensive legal experience. He was Chair of the Indecent Publications Tribunal from 1990 to 1994.

DR MCDONNELL is of Tuhoe descent. He is a Senior Lecturer in English and Media Studies at Massey University (Albany Campus) and has lectured there since 1994. He has extensive experience in film and television studies.

DR LALITA RAJASINGHE is senior lecturere in Conmmunication Studies at Victoria University. She is a former television and radio journalist and is fluent in a variety of ;languages.

MS ANI WAAKA of Te Arawa (Tuhourangi and Ngati Raukawa) descent was recently apponted to the Board for three years replacing Ms Meekings-Stewart. Ms Waaka has been a member of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Board since 1999 and Director of the Maori Television Service Board since 2002. She chaired the Strategic Planning committee to both boards. She has been CEO of the Maori Television Service and recently reliquished the position.

[Biographical details provided in Media Statement dated 25 June 2001 issued by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon George Hawkins, when eight of the present members were appointed. The outgoing eight members were appointed in 1995. Ms Meekings-Stewart was re-apponted on 25 June 2001 for a term of one year. Updated using media reports. Sources include North Shore Times Advertiser July 6, 2001, p.3. “Albany lecturer checks the censor” by Chris Schulz.]

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