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Relaxing age limits for films stirs debate

Published fredag 7 oktober 2016 kl 14.15
Filmmaker Suzanne Osten: Adults think everything is dangerous
(4:02 min)
Alexander and Lovisa, each with a daughter named Juliette, don't think they would take their daughters to see a 15-rated film once they are 11.
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Alexander and Lovisa, each with a daughter named Juliette, don't think they would take their daughters to see a 15-rated film once they are 11. Credit: Karin Nilsson/Radio Sweden
Alexander and Lovisa, each with a daughter named Juliette, don't think they would take their daughters to see a 15-rated film once they are 11.
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Film director Suzanne Osten thinks 11-year-olds are capable of distinguishing between film and reality. Credit: Maja Suslin/TT

Children between ages 11 and 14 could soon be allowed to watch films with an age limit of 15 in cinemas – if they are accompanied by an adult. Some parents are hesitant, but film director Suzanne Osten thinks it would be a positive move.

The government is behind the push and culture minister Alice Bah Kuhnke says she hopes the change would lead to more children watching films together with adults in a safe environment.

Film director Suzanne Osten, whose latest film The Girl, the Mother and the Demons was the subject of a censorship debate, welcomes the move.

"I think the kids see anyway what they want to see with their friends and on the internet. So this is more of an open attitude that I like," Osten told Radio Sweden.

Sweden currently has three age limits for films in cinemas. An age limit of 7 still allows younger children to watch the film if they’re accompanied by an adult. And films rated 11 can be seen by accompanied children from the age of 7. But for age 15-rated films, everyone in the audience must have turned 15 – and this is what the government now wants to change.

But what do the parents think? Alexander, father of nearly 2-year-old Juliette, was hesitant towards taking his daughter to watch a 15-rated film once she turns 11. And Lovisa, mother of another nearly 2-year-old also named Juliette, had a similar view:

"I would definitely not do that," she said, adding: "Kids are very open. A movie turns into reality in their mind."

Suzanne Osten, however, is of the view that children understand more than their parents think.

"I strongly believe that there is now a sort of moral backlash in Sweden, where the adults think everything is dangerous," Osten told Radio Sweden.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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