Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 17:38 UK

How do other countries rate Batman?

The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight
After getting more than 80 complaints about The Dark Knight's disturbing content, the BBFC has defended giving the new Batman film a 12A certificate.

However, a spokeswoman admitted to the BBC that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) had considered giving the film a 15 rating.

Keith Vaz MP, who chairs the Home Affairs select committee, said earlier this week that use of knives in the film meant the certificate was too low.

The 12A rating in the UK states that a film should not "dwell on violence" nor "emphasise injury or blood".

But classification boards around the world each have their own interpretation of what rating the film should be given.


Australian flag

Rating system maintained by The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC).

Rating given: M - Mature, unrestricted but recommended for mature audiences 16 years and over.

Film advisory: Frequent action violence.

Next rating up: MA 15+ Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.


Denmark flag

Rating system maintained by the Media Council for Children and Young People.

Rating given: 15 - approved for children aged 15 and over.

Classification: Young people and adults aged over 15 are expected to possess an understanding of genre and to be able to deal with frightening films.

Films containing a lot of violence or violence described in detail or glorified or legitimised are placed in this category along with other strong films such as pornography.

However children aged seven and over are allowed admission to all films if accompanied by an adult.

Next rating up: A 15 is the highest rating given.


Finland flag

Rating system maintained by the Finnish Board of Film Classification.

Rating given: K-13 - only for persons over 13 years of age.

Film advisory: Plenty of threat and violence which leads to death, however, the violence is not especially shown in detail.

Classification: Films rated K-13 may contain rather realistic violence mainly in a fantasy context; rather clear-cut sexual activity, however covert with regard to details; and depictions of horror where excitement and fear are built mainly on the story-line and the characters.

Next rating up: K-15 - only for persons over 13 years of age.


France flag

Rating system maintained by the Centre Nationale de la Cinematographie (CNC).

Rating given: Tous publics (U - universal) - suitable for all audiences.

Classification: There are no written guidelines as to what sort of content should receive which rating and ratings are given on a case by case basis.

The commissioners typically cite violent, sexual and drug related content (especially if it is deemed to be graphic or gratuitous) as reasons for higher ratings.

Next rating up: Interdit aux moins de 12 ans (-12) - Forbidden for under 12s.


China flag

Rating system maintained by the Film Censorship Authority (FCA).

Rating given: IIB - Not suitable for young persons and children.

Film advisory: Contains violence and shocking scenes.

Classification: Category IIB is advisory in nature but the age restriction for Category III films - aged 18 and over - is strictly and legally enforced.

In deciding between Category IIB and III, the degree of offensiveness of expressions or expletives with sexual connotations, or normally used in the context of certain criminal groups in Hong Kong, will be considered.

In considering passing films depicting nudity, the degree of the possible erotic effect of the depiction will be considered.

Next rating up: III - for audiences aged 18 and over.


Malaysia flag

Rating system maintained by the Ministry of Information.

Rating given: U - suitable for all audiences.

Classification: Films do not contain elements of violence, horror and sex that are excessive or that include religious, social or political aspects.

Next rating up: After the U rating, there are four different 18 ratings depending on the content of film including scenes of violence, sex, drug use, religious or political themes or a combination of them all.


The Netherlands flag

Rating system maintained by the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audio-visual Media (NICAM).

Rating given: 16

Film advisory: Containing violence and fear.

Classification: The rating system simply warns of possible harmful images in films. In addition, pictograms are used that show the reason for the recommendation: violence, fear, sex, discrimination, drug and/or alcohol abuse and coarse language.

Next rating up: A 16 is the highest rating given.


USA flag

Rating system maintained by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Rating given: PG-13 - Parents strongly cautioned, some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Film advisory: Intense sequences of violence and some menace.

Classification: PG-13 rated films may contain very strong language, nudity (non-explicit), or mild drug content. There may be depictions of strong, mildly bloody violence, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence.

Next rating up: R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Film censor defends Batman rating
04 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
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