Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 17:29 UK

Uncut release for Cannes shocker

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe in Antichrist
Lead actress Gainsbourg (left) is the daughter of singer Jane Birkin

Controversial movie Antichrist - one of the main talking points at this year's Cannes Film Festival - will be released in the UK uncut with an 18 certificate.

It has been rated by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) with a warning it contains "strong real sex, bloody violence and self-mutilation".

The last of these refers to a graphic scene of genital mutilation involving lead actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Gainsbourg won a best actress prize at Cannes for her work in the film.

Director Lars von Trier faced hostile reporters following Antichrist's first screening at Cannes, with some accusing the Danish filmmaker of misogyny.

Von Trier defended the scene where Gainsbourg's character mutilates herself, saying it "came in naturally".

'Disturbing and offensive'

Other scenes in the film - released in the UK on 24 July - depict penetrative sex, masturbation and extreme torture.

The BBFC said it had no doubt that "some viewers will find the images disturbing and offensive."

Distributor Artificial Eye said it fully supported the BBFC's decision "to allow people to make up their own minds about the film".

"It's our duty as a distributor to present the works of talented directors such as Lars von Trier in their original form," said its CEO, Philip Knatchbull.

A psychological thriller with fantastical elements, Antichrist tells of a grieving couple - played by Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe - who retreat to an isolated cabin in the woods after a family tragedy.

Von Trier is no stranger to Cannes controversy, having previously shown his films Dogville, The Idiots and Dancer in the Dark at the French festival.

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