France blocks Lars von Trier's Antichrist for sex, violence

Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist
Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist Les Films du Losange

Lars von Trier's film Antichrist has been banned from screens in France, seven years after its release, because it contains "extreme violence" and "unsimulated sex". The film, which stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, cannot be shown in cinemas, on TV or on video, until a new classification is awarded.


Responding to a complaint by a Catholic traditionalist group, Promouvoir, the administrative appeals court ruled that the film included content that meant it should be banned to under-18s and not just to under-16s as its classification certificate had

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The court agreed, citing "a level of representation of violence and sexuality that necessitate, in accordance with current regulation, a ban on this film for all minors" and scrapped its certification, meaning it cannot be shown at all until it receives a new rating.

The court also criticised former culture ministers Frédéric Mitterrand and Aurélie Filipetti for awarding a certificate after two previous bans on procedural grounds in 2009 and 2012.

Gainsbourg won the best female actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 when the film came out.

Last December Promouvoir succeeded in having Cannes Palme d'Or winner Blue is the Warmest Colour's (La Vie d'Adèle) under-12 certificate scrapped and last summer it won the banning of Gaspar Noé's Love for under-18s. 

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