Battle Royale Battle

Aaron Gerow gerow
Mon Nov 20 01:04:45 EST 2000

Fukasaku Kinji's new film Battle Royale, starring Beat Takeshi, is 
already causing controversy before it's even been released.

First, the film, based on a controversial novel, has earned a R-15 rating 
from Eirin which prevents children under 15 from seeing the very violent 
film--even though it mostly figures characters that age.  Fukasaku and 
Takeshi have criticized this, arguing that it's tale of a school class 
killing each other is a lesson tale for youth these days.

But second, the film has actually turned up in the Diet.  Democratic 
Party member Ishii Koki, having read the book and been shocked by its 
content, asked Minister of Education Oshima about the film in an 
Educational Committee hearing.  "While there is freedom of expression," 
he said, "the government should institutionally pass judgement on works 
that influence juvenile education."  "It is the job of government 
administration to protect the people from works that incite crime or 
which destroy order."  Ishii also criticized Eirin, even despite its 
tough rating, for being a form of industry self-regulation with no 
penalities.  Thus he voiced support of government involvement.

Oshima, not having seen the film, declined to comment.

This is only one of the calls over the decades for government regulation 
of film, but given the "rise" of violent youth crimes, may not be the 

Aaron Gerow
Yokohama National University
KineJapan list owner
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