Bunny Ban Is No Game

Friday, October 14 2011
Bunny Ban Is No Game

Another week, another film, as the BBFC has announced that it has rejected The Bunny Game, from Trinity’s Trinity X imprint, for classification. We thought we’d put not only the BBFC’s full statement up here, but also reaction from Trinity, the film’s director and other interested parties. Here’s the full rabbit about the Bunny…

The BBFC statement said: “The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has rejected the sexually violent DVD The Bunny Game. The film follows a female prostitute who hitches a lift with a truck driver. The truck driver kidnaps the woman, restrains and forcibly strips her, and proceeds to physically and sexually abuse and humiliate her. The abuse of the kidnapped woman takes up the greater part of the film.

“The Board’s Guidelines state ‘A strict policy on sexual violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level. This is more likely with video works than film because of the potential for replaying scenes out of context. Any association of sex with non-consensual restraint, pain or humiliation may be cut’.  The principal focus of The Bunny Game is the unremitting sexual and physical abuse of a helpless woman, as well as the sadistic and sexual pleasure the man derives from this. The emphasis on the woman’s nudity tends to eroticise what is shown, while aspects of the work such as the lack of explanation of the events depicted, and the stylistic treatment, may encourage some viewers to enjoy and share in the man’s callousness and the pleasure he takes in the woman’s pain and humiliation.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: ‘It is the Board’s carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board’s Guidelines, would risk potential harm within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and would accordingly be unacceptable to the public.’

“The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts.  However, the pervasiveness of the abuse makes it very difficult to deal with The Bunny Game by means of cuts.  If the company would like to attempt to cut this work in order to submit it in a reduced form, they are entitled to do so, but the Board can offer no assurances that such re-editing would be successful.

“The decision to reject The Bunny Game was taken by the Director, David Cooke and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos. The decision means that the film cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK.”

Trinity described the decision as “disappointing, worrying and sad”.  

Mark Sandell, co-director of Trinity, said: “We knew the film was challenging and confrontational, but also felt, as a independent filmmaker, Adam Rehmeier (the director), had a highly original filmic eye and had elicited powerful performances from the cast. We did imagine that the BBFC might ask for cuts but an outright ban gives the film a twisted notoriety that, quite frankly, it doesn’t warrant.”

Director Adam Rehmeier added: “Rodleen [Getsic, who stars as prostitute Bunnny] and I didn’t make ‘The Bunny Game’ to glamorise prostitution. It is far from an erotic film. It is a modern cautionary tale grounded in reality.”

Sales agent Julian Richards from Jinga Films added: “I was very taken by The Bunny Game as a depiction of the life of a prostitute in down town Los Angeles. I found it very disturbing. The antithesis of what was depicted in Pretty Woman.”

Here’s the trailer, so you can see what all the fuss is about, but be warned, this is not for the faint-hearted, and it’s a massive NSFW…

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