France to allow minors to watch real sex at movies

France’s culture minister Fleur Pellerin has promised to change the rules banning under-18s from seeing films containing non-simulated sex in cinemas.

France to allow minors to watch real sex at movies
A screengrab from the film x-rated film Love that caused much controversy in France. Photo: AFP
The unusual promise was made in relation to the film Love, a movie featuring lengthy, non-simulated sex scenes in 3D that was booed at the Cannes film festival this year and largely ridiculed by critics.
The film, directed by the Franco-Argentinian Gaspar Noé, was initially given an over-16 rating when it was released in French cinemas this summer. 
But after a lawsuit by a far-right group, the country’s cinema classification board was forced to change it to an over-18 rating.
Minister Pellerin said the far-right group had managed to get the rating changed because “we have rules that state that any film that shows non-simulated sex scenes must be forbidden for under-18s.”
(France's Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin. Photo: AFP)
“That is going to change,” she told Canal + television. “We are working with the people who classify films to see how we can make things evolve, while respecting the protection of minors.”
Pellerin compared the lawsuit against Love to the attacks on the “queen's vagina” sculpture by Anish Kapoor in the gardens of the Chateau of Versailles.
“It’s sort of the same problem…, a return to ‘moral order’ and the question of creative freedom,” she told the Petit Journal programme.
The director and the producer of Love say their film is a non-pornographic 3D exploration of the beauty of love-making.
They have argued that that changing the rating to over-18 was a fresh sign of the increasing influence of the ultra-conservative Catholic hard right in France.
The pair have made a legal appeal to the state watchdog, the Conseil d’Etat, to have the rating overturned.
Pellerin also announced last week that she too was asking the Conseil d’Etat to revise the rating.

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France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had ‘marital duty’ to have sex with husband

A case has been brought against France at the European Court of Human Rights by a woman who lost a divorce case after judges ruled against her because she refused to have sex with her husband.

France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had 'marital duty' to have sex with husband
Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

The woman, who has not been named, has brought the case with the backing of two French feminist groups, arguing that the French court ruling contravened human rights legislation by “interference in private life” and “violation of physical integrity”.

It comes after a ruling in the Appeals Court in Versailles which pronounced a fault divorce in 2019 because of her refusal to have sex with her husband.

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The court ruled that the facts of the case “established by the admission of the wife, constitute a serious and renewed violation of the duties and obligations of marriage making intolerable the maintenance of a shared life”.

Feminist groups Fondation des femmes (Women’s Foundation) and Collectif féministe contre le viol (Feminist Collective against Rape) have backed her appeal, deploring the fact that French justice “continues to impose the marital duty” and “thus denying the right of women to consent or not to sexual relations”.

“Marriage is not and should not be a sexual servitude,” the joint statement says, pointing out that in 47 percent of the 94,000 recorded rapes and attempted rapes per year, the aggressor is the spouse or ex-spouse of the victim.