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Rating Board Deems Teen Film Too Adult

2005/01/04 | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

The rating board for local films is finding the content and posters for recent movies about teenagers in sexual or adult situations to be too adult for younger viewers.

The upcoming film "Jenny, Juno" tells of a couple in middle school who give a birth to a baby. Given the taboo nature of its subject, it seemed natural that it got a rating of 18 and over.

However, other recent films about teenagers dealing with the adult situation of marriage, such as "Orin Sinbu (My Little Bride)" and "Yogosaeng Sijibbonaegi (Marrying School Girl)", were given the rating of 12 and over and 15 and over, respectively.

Showeast, the production company of "Jenny, Juno", said that they avoided showing overtly sexual scenes and tried to honestly depict the issues and problems faced by teenagers in real life. The company has requested that the Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB) reconsider its rating of the film.

However, an official from the rating board said that although the movie doesn't contain any sexually graphic images, it gives the general impression that the teenage theme is being exploiting for commercial and not artistic reasons. In addition, scenes of the main characters celebrating after having their baby are also against the generally accepted social notion, the board said.

Recently, the rating board also censored a promotional poster of "Mongjonggi 2 (Blossom Period 2 - Wet Dreams 2)", an upcoming film about high school girls' sexual desire, although the movie had been already received the 15-and-over rating. The board claimed that the poster's image and writing were too suggestive to be seen in public spaces and not suitable for children.

Kangjegyu & Myung Film, the company behind "Blossom Period 2", has since changed their poster for the film.

Gina Yu, film critic and professor of film and digital media at Dongguk University, said the difficulty of rating such movies comes from the lack of objective criteria. Yu said that members of the rating board have a tendency to reflect their own wishes or expectations about what teenagers should be like, so that the rating will be without the participation of the actual audiences for the movie.

"I suggest that the board create a system of monitoring that allows teenagers to help decide the rating and the value of movies geared towards them", she said.

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