The "pornographic" X18 rating slapped on award-winning South African film "Inxeba (The Wound)" has for now been amended to an ordinary age restriction of 18, Film and Publications Board (FPB) spokesperson Manala Botolo confirmed to Huffpost on Tuesday.
An appeal against the reclassification of the film was made at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
"All the parties that were in court today agreed that in the interim before the next court date, the age restriction of 18 years will be used," Botolo said.
Breaking: film Inxeba" X-rating lifted for now. By agreement by parties in court it will have 18 age restriction. This means it can be screened at all movie houses. This will remain in force pending review proceedings on March 28. @pretorianews @IOL— Zelda Venter (@ZeldaVenter) March 6, 2018
This means that the film can be screened in ordinary cinemas again. The new classification will remain in force pending review proceedings of the FPB appeals tribunal's decision to raise the film's original age restriction from 16 in the first place; proceedings that will be held on March 28.
In February, the FPB received a detailed report from its appeals tribunal – which had been appointed by the communications minister in response to complaints about the film's portrayal of Xhosa culture – purporting to explain why the tribunal changed the film's rating to one that made it impossible to screen except in licensed pornography outlets.
Filmmakers and freedom of expression activists are confident that the reasons given by the FPB appeals tribunal for its draconian reclassification will not stand up to review.