UK censorthe BBFC has passed Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs uncut and has awardedit an '18' certificate for cinema release.

Meanwhile, sources in the Irish distribution trade havetold that the Irish Film Censor, John Kelleher, has alsopassed 9 Songs uncut and given it an '18' certificate.

The film,which includes images of explicit, real sexual activity, portrays thedevelopment of a relationship between two people.

The BBFCsaid in a statement: "Some people may find such explicit images shocking orunexpected in a cinema film. The Board is sensitive to public concerns, and itsGuidelines are based on extensive consultation. The Board's Guidelines allowthe more explicit images of sexual activity at '18' if they can beexceptionally justified by context. The Board has concluded in this case thatadults should be free to choose whether or not to see the film."

Thestatement added: "The film does not raise issues of harm or sexualviolence. The film's exploration of therelationship provides sufficient contextual justification for the Board to passthe work uncut at '18'. 9 Songs is wholly different in appearance, tone,intention and treatment from the sex works which the Board classifies either at'18' or 'R18' (and which in the latter case may be supplied only in licensedsex shops)."

Irishcensorship has liberalised considerably under censor John Kelleher who isworking within the framework of a reforming Minister for Justice who intends tointroduce updated legislation on film and video censorship in about a year'stime.