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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Japan warned over Babel sickness
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star in Babel
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett lead the cast of Babel
Hollywood film Babel could make viewers ill, according to its Japanese distributor which has taken out newspaper adverts to warn cinema-goers.

About 15 people have complained of feeling sick while watching the film since it opened in Japan last week.

The concerns are thought to centre on a scene featuring Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi in a nightclub.

Distributor Gaga Communications has warned it features "highly stimulating effects" such as strobe lighting.

The company has placed warnings about the Oscar-nominated film in national newspapers, on their website and has also requested it to be displayed on posters at about 300 cinemas.

Rinko Kikuchi
Rinko Kikuchi plays a deaf schoolgirl who cannot speak

Cinema managers have also reported people falling ill.

The scene where Kikuchi, playing a high school girl dancing in a club with flashing and swirling lights, left five women feeling sick at at the Midland Square Cinema in city of Nagoya.

Manager Toshiyuki Ichiji told the AFP news agency said they were warning customers about the film.

"We are handing out a handbill advising customers not to focus on the screen but to look away appropriately during the scene," he said.

At another cinema in Yokkaichi, an elderly man needed time to rest and recover from sickness after watching the film.

Manager Takashi Hattori said he was preparing to issue a health warning to viewers.

Babel, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, has been a media sensation in Japan, as Kikuchi was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as a deaf schoolgirl who cannot speak.

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