UK distributor Metro Tartan plans to place a card at the front of controversial French film The Pornographer stating that it has been "butchered" after UK certification body the BBFC demanded an 11-second cut.
The BBFC objected to what it called "an unsimulated porn sequence in which a women is seen with semen on her face following oral sex". But director Bertrand Bonello said that this was the first time such demands had been made on the film, which has sold in over 12 countries.
"I am very surprised and upset," he said. "With the fine cast of this film, does it make all these people pornographers' - We are all pornographers."
The BBFC said that Metro Tartan had made a 17-second cut on the film, but the distributor blamed this on "an over-zealous film editor at the labs". Metro Tartan said that the BBFC had "rushed to the wrong conclusion" in accusing it of making a longer cut than required. It called the decision "a significant U-turn" in the more liberal stance towards sex adopted by now departing BBFC chief Andreas Whittam Smith.
The BBFC said that the decision is in line with guidelines allowing the board to cut or reject explicit images of sexual activity unless they can be exceptionally justified by context. "The board did not feel that the images cut were justified," said the body.