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A Censor’s Rating Savages Film

A kiwi “family movie” has been given an R18 rating by the Film Censor prompting the filmmakers to appeal the decision.

The comedy “Savage Honeymoon”, which depicts the life of a family of Auckland “Westies”, was given the rating because of the constant drinking of the main characters and a scene where a family member throws a gas cylinder onto bonfire.

Chief Censor Bill Hastings said while he personally enjoyed the film, the Censor's Office took exemption to the film’s “anti-social behaviour” and feared it would appeal to young audience, who would attempt to copy the westie behaviour.

Film Commission Chief Executive Ruth Harley said the decision showed the Censor’s office lacked a sense of humour and perspective.

She said the film's distributors would lead an appeal against the ruling to be heard on February 21.

The film's director, Mark Beesley, said he was distressed and shocked at the rating, as he had been trying to create film that would appeal to families.

He said the film’s American test-audience, which included both children and adults, did not seem overly distressed at its depiction of West Auckland family life.

The film will debut in New Zealand cinemas on March 16.



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