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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Black Swan ‘most complained about film’ over lesbian sex scene

ANI  London, July 13, 2012
First Published: 18:38 IST(13/7/2012) | Last Updated: 18:58 IST(13/7/2012)
Ballet thriller Black Swan, rated 15 in the UK, received more complaints to the British Board of Film Classification than any other movie in 2011, it has been revealed.

The Oscar-winning psychological thriller generated 40 objections to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), most of whom took a dislike to the raunchy lesbian scene between Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers and fellow dancer Lily, played by Mila Kunis.

Some described the scene as ‘pornographic’, but the BBFC said that it came within the bounds of the film’s 15 rating.

“While the scene is visually discreet, narratively justified and within the 15 guidelines criteria, some correspondents felt it was pornographic in nature,” the Daily Mail quoted the report. “That it was a sex scene between two women was an aggravating factor for some who argued that portrayals of homosexual activity should either be restricted to the 18 category, or not shown at all,” the report stated.

Others complained that they had ‘expected to see a film about ballet rather than the story of a young woman’s mental disintegration. “The high number of complaints for Black Swan demonstrates the disconnect that sometimes occurs between a viewer’s expectations of a film and its actual content,” the report said.

But it also revealed that the number of complaints was far fewer than the 120 generated by horror The Woman In Black this year because of its 12A rating.

The report was released as the BBFC announced it had commissioned major research into public perceptions of sexual violence in films - the first for ten years. The film generating the second-highest number of complaints last year was Hanna, which features a genetically engineered ‘super soldier’. It had received 29 objections from viewers who found the violence ‘sadistic and gratuitous’.
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