I wrote the following letter of complaint to the BBFC today:
Having viewed The Dark Knight at the cinema this weekend, I add my voice to those who believe that its classification was absolutely inappropriate. The fact that children of 12 can see this film unaccompanied is quite abhorrent. The fact that children of any age can see this film when accompanied by an adult is truly stomach churning. This is particularly so in a film based on a popular comic-book character, whose traditional audience has been youngsters.
Below is a list of just a few of the many scenes that I found unacceptable in this classification of film:
- Batman (the hero) intentionally dropped someone out of a window, breaking his legs, during an interrogation.
- Batman tortured The Joker in prison.
- The Joker found it amusing to ram a pencil into someone’s eye.
- The Joker described, in graphic detail, how his father cut his face with a knife.
- The Joker states his preference for killing with a knife because that way it takes longer for a victim to die.
In addition to the on-screen acts of brutality, much of the violence in this film was portrayed as occurring off-screen. Unfortunately, this fact does nothing to lessen the disturbing nature of these events. Indeed, the unrealistic nature of the consequences of the violence (the limited blood and gore that would undoubtedly have increased the age limit) serves only to glamorise the violent acts themselves.
In a culture that is beset with knife-crime and increasingly violent behaviour, it seems irresponsible to the point of madness for the BBFC to have classified this film as anything less than a 15.
I am appalled.