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Wednesday, 4 September, 2002, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Damon criticises Bourne rating
The Bourne Identity
The film is based on a Robert Ludlum thriller
Actor Matt Damon has said children under 12 years old should not be allowed to see his new film The Bourne Identity despite it being rated as 12A in the UK.

Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, he said he thought the film was too violent for children aged 14 and under.

The thriller is one of the first major films to be given the new 12A rating by the British Board of Film Classification and can be seen by children under 12 if accompanied by a parent.

Matt Damon
Damon won an Oscar for Good Will Hunting
Mr Damon said that his mother, who is a child behavioural psychologist, had also criticised the rating in UK and the US, where the film was given the similar PG13 rating.

"It's a tough issue. I don't have control over the ratings of these movies," he told the radio station.

"I would urge parents to be very mindful, and maybe go see the movie first before they let a 12-year-old see it."

The actor, recently seen in Ocean's 11, has said that real-life violence, like the Columbine school shootings, can be linked to violence on screen.

He is currently visiting the Deauville Film Festival in France to promote the film.

Amnesia

Based loosely on Robert Ludlum's novel, The Bourne Identity is the story of a man whose wounded body is discovered by fisherman who nurse him back to health.

Suffering from amnesia, he tries to rebuild his memory based from various clues and finds himself in great danger.

Spider-Man
Some parents complained when their children could not see Spider-Man
The recent introduction of the 12A rating was the biggest change in UK film classification for more than a decade.

It followed controversy surrounding the 12 certificate given to blockbuster Spider-Man, which some parents and cinemas regarded as too strict.

The new classification has meant that other previously 12-rated films can now be seen by younger children if accompanied by an adult - including Titanic, Independence Day and Armageddon.

Ratings similar to the 12A are already in place in most of Europe, Australia and Canada as well as the US.

A spokeswoman for the BBFC, said: "We didn't think this film had the sort of violence that was a concern at this category. There is no detail and no blood and it is done very much in comic book style with lots of soundtrack which is typical of this type of film.

"It's no worse than James Bond films and those are the very films which led the public to complain that their children could not see them."


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Spider-Man was given a 12 certificate in the UKParent power
Your views on the 12A film certificate
See also:

29 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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