Councils Overrule BBFC to Show Sweary Northern Drama to Kids

By Gary Cutlack on at

Modern movie drama A Northern Soul -- which follows the hard life of Hull warehouse worker and hip-hop fan Steve -- has benefited from a campaign to downgrade its BBFC rating, with several local councils deciding that some swearing and the odd f-bomb is no reason to give the worthy film about the realities of present day life in the city a 15 rating.

The BBC's rating of the film explains: "There is strong language (f**k). Other terms include uses of 'prick', ''shit', 'bastard', 'bloody' and 'God'. There is also a use of a rude gesture when a woman sticks two fingers up at the camera," hence it was given a 15.

But such language is OK for the kids within the reaches of the nine local authorities -- not all in the north as Southampton council has joined the push -- that have overruled the decision and down-classified the film to a 12A, because t'kids probably hear worse coming out of dad every evening when the sausages aren't cooked to his exact specifications and the mash is a bit lumpy and it all gets thrown at the wall.

A Northern Soul's director Sean McAllister has been backing the local reclassification push, and told the BBC: "When people actually see it, everyone's saying 'where's the swearing?' They have done a word count, which is an F count, and they've simply censored it based on that. And they've got to get over that."

It's part of life and the character, basically, and kids ought to be trusted enough to know that, even though they're actually all in Screen One watching some superhero drivel instead of this, as they get enough of dad swearing and listening to 1980s hip hop at home and are more interested in seeing a 90-second Iron Man cameo.

McAllister is not impressed with the BBFC's attitude to classification in general, and added: "When in Mission Impossible people are having their heads blown off and 12As are being granted, the whole thing is hypocritical, backward and needs reassessing."