A Serbian Film Yanked from London’s Frightfest Film Festival


If Srdjan Spasojevic’s highly disturbing torture horror flick “A Serbian Film” didn’t have enough notoriety associated with it already, the insanely controversial genre outing has recently been pulled from London’s Frightfest Film Festival. According to The Guardian, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and Westminster council has deemed the film too disturbing in its current state. Most of the issues stem from a scene in which a newborn baby is savagely raped, a sequence that has thoroughly unnerved several hardened viewers at other recent festivals. Even as someone who enjoys a little shock with his cinematic entertainment, even this sounds a little extreme.

Here’s a few more specifics about the ruling:

A Serbian Film tells the tale of a former porn star who is lured out of retirement and contains a scene that depicts the rape of a newborn baby. According to its director, the scene is entirely justified. “This is a diary of our own molestation by the Serbian government,” says Spasojevic. “It’s about the monolithic power of leaders who hypnotise you to do things you don’t want to do. You have to feel the violence to know what it’s about.”

But the British Board of Film Classification were less convinced and demanded 49 individual cuts that amount to nearly four minutes of screen time. “The film-makers have stated that A Serbian Film is intended as an allegory about Serbia itself,” admitted a BBFC spokeswoman. “The board recognises that the images are intended to shock, but the sexual and sexualised violence goes beyond what is acceptable under current BBFC guidelines [for an 18-certificate].”

FrightFest initially planned to show the picture in its original uncut version, but were overruled by the local council. “FrightFest has decided not to show A Serbian Film in a heavily cut version because, as a festival with a global integrity, we think a film of this nature should be shown in its entirety as per the director’s intention,” said the event’s co-director Ian Jones.

If you haven’t seen the trailer for “A Serbian Film” yet, I’ve included it just below this text. Warning: It’s a pretty sick clip packed with full frontal nudity, perverse sex, and graphic violence, so prepare yourself accordingly.