Of Good Report should have had its world premiere at the 34th edition of Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), but the movie wasn't shown at the opening. The South African Film and Publications Board (FPB) found that this story about a high-school teacher who falls for one of its students contains a scene which (for them) constitutes child pornography.
Return on the controversy with the Director Jahmil XT Qubeka.
The film was supposed to be shown at the open night at the Durban Film Festival. What happened?
The night before the screening, I got a call from the festival programmer Peter Machen because he got a call, a couple of hours before, from the classification Board members saying they refusing the movie classification. And the reason was that it was porno, according to them or even child pornography, not even porno but child pornography.
OF GOOD REPORT by Jahmil XT Qubeka - Official Trailer - South Africa, 2013 from Africiné www.africine.org on Vimeo.
What make them think this way?
They watched 28 minutes of the film and it's about the first love scene. You don't even see anything. The most controversial thing it's that the teacher takes off the student underwear. But it's all suggesting, you don't see anything.
Why this controversy about a love scene between a teacher and his student?
According to the amendment to the law, their definition of child pornography includes the picture of a relationship between an older person with a younger. Which is stupid, because that's mean that someone twenty something years old cannot play with someone sixteen years old because that would constitute child pornography.
How did you react when you heard that your movie will not be shown anymore?
I went to the director's house and ask what the problem is. He told me that and the festival and the university who support the festival have taken the decision that they won't even screen another film in its place. I decided I will not tell the producer or anybody to let them come to the screening and make them feel how it feels to be not able to watch the movie because the government said "don't watch it".
Is the movie has been shown in South Africa after this controversy?
Now, it's been unbanned. We went to an appeal process we had some very good lawyers, we appeal the decision and then they change the aging to sixteen. We only screen it on Sunday the last day of the festival. It was not in the competition, it was screened eventually.
Toronto, september 2013
with the support of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).