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German movie ratings and excessive strictness

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Posted

So we tried to go see Kung Fu Panda in English at the Corso, as described over here.

The Panda movie had a FSK 6 rating so my kids are not supposed to go (by law).

I can maybe understand that, I would assume the panda movie would have some violence. Probably not as much nudity as they broadcast on my TV at night...

From the other thread:

The German Film Rating system does seem quite strict. I can't remember, but maybe the panda crosses a road where there's no green man.

Now I see the new Wall-E is also FSK 6! AFAIK, this is a movie about a robot that runs around and cleans up garbage. Maybe there is too much violence again? Maybe not enough nudity?

Are children under 6 just not allowed in the movies? This is nuts to me.

Do I have any recourse other than DVD/Bittorrent?

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Posted

The FSK rating is rather controversial because almost nobody really knows how and why movies are rated (e.g. Jurassic Park and Harry Potter 2 were both rated FSK 12) but at the moment there is no way around.

Kids over 6 can watch FSK 12 movies when accompanied by their parents, but that's all .. no other exceptions.

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Posted

But how strictly is it enforced? I definitely took my kid to some FSK 6 movies when he was as small as 4. And he is 6 now and I've take him to all the Harry Potter movies. This was all at the English Cinema in Munich (maybe one or two at Mathaeser as well...) So I've never run into any enforcement.

As a parent, I think I should be allowed to judge what my son is old/mature enough to handle. The rating can be a guideline, but I don't think they should be a rule. My boy would completely freak (as would I) if we couldn't watch the HP movies together on the big screen.

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Posted

Cinema doesn't enforce it, but some of the German cinemas do. I actually like that they have them - though for the life of my I can't figure out why kung fu panda shouldn't be seen by a 4 year old. And from what my mom told me, any kid over 7 will be bored silly at the Wall-E movie. (I've managed to avoid that one so I don't know how dippy it really is).

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Posted

I can maybe understand that, I would assume the panda movie would have some violence. Probably not as much nudity as they broadcast on my TV at night...

Only an American would think nudity is worse than violence. :ph34r: It's on late at night so that kids don't get to see it as they assume parents will restrict their viewing. How are the cinema to know whether a 4 year old can handle "violence" in a film, hence the restriction. As has already been mentioned over sixes can go and see restricted films if accompanied by their parents, little ones can't, probably the cinema doesn't want a theatre full of crying children.

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Posted

Cinema doesn't enforce it, but some of the German cinemas do.

We just took our son a week ago to see the Panda movie and they were asking the ages of the kids going into the theater (after the parents had bought the tickets). One kid was 5 and I don't know what the father said (he had to go talk to the manager or something), but the little girl finally got to come in to see the movie. :rolleyes:

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Posted

Cinema doesn't enforce it, but some of the German cinemas do.

I probably could have gone on into the Panda movie, but I initially told the lady the ages of our kids to help figure out what we owed for them. Then she started spouting stuff I could not follow, but I caught the verboten and sechs jahre alt bits.

The 2 year old can't really pass for 6.

What movies are rated FSK 0? I googled a bit and saw nada.

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Posted

Wall-E is FSK6?

That's it, I've had it with this country.

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Posted

It shows robot romance, but that's on TV every night anyway ("Ruf an!"). Or maybe the concept of a lot of trash lying around was deemed too unfamilar and scary for German toddlers?

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Posted

I have to agree with RickMunich, I think cinemas (with usually extremely loud and flashy movies) are neither a good environment for babies nor is it great for people actually trying to watch the movie.

but that's on TV every night anyway ("Ruf an!")

FSK 12 is allowed after 8pm, FSK 16 after 10pm and FSK 18 after 11pm

So no "6666 ruf an!!" in the afternoon.

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Posted

IMO, two year-olds should be banned from theaters, along with cell phones and people who talk during the film.

I would much rather ban that stinky guy I sat next to at the corso. Gott und Himmel! My nose was bleeding.

And, just because WALL-E is animated, does not mean it's a kids movie.

The reviews I have seen say it would be painful to watch by anyone over 7. I think this one is a kid's movie.

And thanks for the open mind for families. But you sorta expect kids in a movie, especially G rated afternoon matinees.

When I get a fussy one at the movies, we always take them outside. We try to be as considerate as we can.

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Posted

Only an American would think nudity is worse than violence.

Oh! Oh! So true. So, so, so true. Everyone should go watch "This Film is not yet Rated".

Pisses... me... off.

And the comment about the Panda crossing without the little green man was classic. He probably failed to recycle something at one point as well.

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Posted

The reviews I have seen say it would be painful to watch by anyone over 7. I think this one is a kid's movie.

Just curious, what reviews have you been reading? This movie is being nearly universally praised, with references to Chaplain, Tati, Kubrick and Keaton, and already has many accolades as best film of the year. Just one quote-- "But what surprised me was how much I loved its darknesses. I can’t remember a bleaker Disney-branded film. Wall-E is a dystopian nightmare movie."

From what I've read, if you're over 7 and are bored silly by WALL-E, you either have no heart, no brain, or both.

I can't wait to see it.

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Posted

And thanks for the open mind for families. But you sorta expect kids in a movie, especially G rated afternoon matinees.

When I get a fussy one at the movies, we always take them outside. We try to be as considerate as we can.

That's why I avoid G-rated matinee showings.

For every set of considerate parents like you, there are a dozen who don't bother even trying to keep the kids quiet. Even if you are considerate and take the "fussy one" outside, you have already disturbed the rest of the audience and killed the mood of the movie.

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Posted

In the UK the film is a PG (Parental Guidance - General Viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children). But I guess an older looking 4/5 year old can easily get into the cinema...

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Posted

You want to compare the German way to the Western way? How about a couple fucking in a public park on a Sunday morning while the church bells ring oblivious to all on-lookers (probably getting off to it) walking just 20 meters from their pleasure zone. I witnessed this and was a hair trigger away from going over and bashing their heads in...unfortunately I had just arived in the country and thought this was a stadt approved lewd act. Next time they won't be so lucky.

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Posted

...Even if you are considerate and take the "fussy one" outside, you have already disturbed the rest of the audience and killed the mood of the movie.

Seriously?! KILLED the mood of the movie...??? Are you also disturbed by other occurrences at the movie...sneezing, eating popcorn, people who come/ go during the film, coughing, throat-clearing? You must be close to giving up going to the cinema...

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Posted

I think it's a good idea to keep kids out of movies that are too mature for them. And you can't always rely on the parents to do that. The animated stuff is one thing (though I do remember very clearly being absolutely traumatized watching "Bambi" as a 5 year old, my first real movie theater experience.), but it is unbelievable the kind of stuff small children are exposed to here in the States. I went to watch "The Dark Knight" the other day and I counted no less than 20 children under the age of 10. The youngest ones were around four. I was horrified. This is a very violent movie for children to watch. Those parents ought to have their heads checked. And then they wonder why people grow up here and end up shooting each other. Ugh.

As far as very small children at the movies go, I don't know. I would be worried about the noise level those baby ears are exposed to. I've seen people with infants at the movies. Again, wtf is wrong with them? :angry:

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Posted

Seriously?! KILLED the mood of the movie...??? Are you also disturbed by other occurrences at the movie...sneezing, eating popcorn, people who come/ go during the film, coughing, throat-clearing? You must be close to giving up going to the cinema...

Well, yes, I am.

That's why I LOVE my home cinema. 2x1.8 meter screen with a projector and killer surround sound. Ant no fricking idiots getting up 2-3 times during the film to do whatever, no idiots digging around in their Doritos bags or nachos trays, answering fricking cell phones during the movie, coughing every five minutes, talking to their neighbor... and this is in Germany, in the US it's even worse...

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Posted

FSK 12 is allowed after 8pm, FSK 16 after 10pm and FSK 18 after 11pm

So no "6666 ruf an!!" in the afternoon.

The age limits have nothing to do with the times a movie is shown. I worked in a cinema as usher and we showed 18+ movies in the afternoons as well. Sometimes it got difficult when a group of 15 - 17 year olds sent their 18 year old friend to buy the tickets and we had to refuse entry.

Same thing with parents and toddlers. As we all know, watching movies at the cinema is a long drawn-out process, the kids get restless and bored and cry or yell or run around, other people complain.

And the times I've heard "I know what my kid can watch!" ... It was difficult to remain calm and tell the parents they would have to wait until the movie is out on video for their kids to watch it, I can't let them in. So much for German Ordnungsliebe and Gehorsam.

"Watership Down" and the animated version of "Lord of the Rings" were FSK6 and full of violence. Anmiated does not mean suited for children - remember "Fritz the Cat" and "Tarzoon"?

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Posted

The age limits have nothing to do with the times a movie is shown.

I was talking about tv not cinema, sorry ;)

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Posted

Trying to revive the thread, maybe...

I just bought a few DVDs from the bargain bin at the local Mueller and made sure to get ones rated FSK ab 0 for my 2.5-year-old son. I was pretty surprised that Charlie Brown and all the Peanuts cartoons were rated FSK 6 and that a Nickelodeon production called the Barnyard was FSK 0. I got the Barnyard because it had animals on the cover and watched it with my son in case it wasn't actually appropriate for his age and guess what: it wasn't.

I guess language usage didn't factor in the rating by the German authorities, because it contained quite a bit of light swearing ("Hell" and the like). There is also a party where all the animals drink booze and gamble (craps, poker, roulette...). In one scene, a coyote kidnaps a bunch of chickens and says terrorizing things, like, "If anyone screams, I'll kill 6 more of you." (We were watching the English version.) One of the cows dies in the process of protecting the chickens and there is a big funeral scene for him. (Also really intense for a 2-year-old.) It also annoyed me that the male cows all had udders (not related to the rating, but really weird, anyway).

So now I'm wondering what the rating standards even are. I'm sure there are cultural differences on what ages should be exposed to violence, swearing, gambling, drinking and so forth, but this was pretty obviously incorrectly rated in my opinion. A quick google search (yes, I should have done this first, but he was so excited about the animal movie and it was rated 0, so I skipped it) revealed that the US recommended ages are 7-12.

Anyways, now the movie is "kaput", as I might have accidentally/on purpose smashed the disk underfoot.

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Anyways, now the movie is "kaput", as I might have accidentally/on purpose smashed the disk underfoot.

LOL. That statement made me laugh. How many times have I mislaid something because it wasn't something I wanted the kids to have? Too cute.

Sorry, I can't comment on the ratings as my kids watch Netflix or Youtube which I pre-screen for them.

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Posted

Don't look for any consistency from the FSK.

Last week I saw The Blair Witch Project in my local library rated FSK 12.

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