Earlier this month saw the release of the third and final chapter in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed. The erotic romance films, based on E.L. James' novels have grossed over $1 billion worldwide, courting no shortage of controversy along the way. Now it appears that such controversy will continue right up until Ana and Christian disappear from cinema screens forever. In the latest kerfuffle, a Catholic group in France is attempting to ban Fifty Shades Freed for children under 12.
According to The Local fr, the traditionalist Catholic lobby group, Promouvoir (Promote) is taking on Fifty Shades Freed and attempting to have the erotic film banned for children under 12. The group is arguing to French courts that the sadomasochistic relationship featured in the film is inappropriate for young children. The group is citing the French film classification rules which allow for a film to be banned for children if it might negatively affect a child's emotional development. Promouvoir was previously successful in getting Lars Von Trier's Antichrist completely banned from French cinemas and raised the rating for Blue is the Warmest Color from 12 to 18. This also isn't the first time the group has taken on the Fifty Shades franchise. In 2015, it attempted to raise the rating for the first movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, but was unsuccessful.
Now you're probably thinking to yourself "Twelve year olds can see Fifty Shades in France?" The answer is yes, they can. French film ratings are called certificates, and they are based on a recommendation from the Board of Film Classification. The Ministry of Culture then issues a distribution certificate that falls into one of five categories: U-Tous Publics (All Publics), 12-banned for those under 12, 16-banned for those under 16, 18-banned for those under ei19hteen and Interdiction which is a total ban on the film. Fifty Shades Freed currently enjoys a U rating, meaning anyone of any age can see it. If this seems like a European thing, it's not. In Britain, you have to be 18 to see the completion of this great love story, so clearly this is just a France thing and probably just reflects a difference in culture and what we deem as taboo.
I don't have kids and I'm not French, but I will say that Fifty Shades Freed does seem like it might be a bit too mature for those under 12, but this could just be a cultural difference. There is also the question of what parent is letting their young child see this movie or bringing them along to see it. So I am curious how many kids in France are actually going to see this or if the problem is simply that they are allowed to. France isn't the only foreign country having issues with Fifty Shades, Russia's Culture Minister recently took aim at the film simply for not being good and taking away opportunities from other more deserving films. That's the real story here. If kids under 12 are watching Fifty Shades in their formative years, what is that doing to their view of cinema? Think of the children, France!
Fifty Shades Freed is in theaters now. For all the latest in movie news and how Twilight fanfic can get out of hand, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.
Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.
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