Last week, I went to see the remake of RoboCop. The movie itself wasn’t bad, as remakes go, and I think it was a pretty fun flick. That’s not what this post is about.
After the movie, I had a discussion with a bunch of people about the movie, and one of them asked about the rating- apparently some of my friends hold the viewpoint that RoboCop with a PG-13 rating instead of 1987’s R rating just isn’t acceptable. Never mind that the things you can do with a PG-13 in 2014 would make an R from 1987 toss its cookies. That’s not what this post is about either.
The exact question posed was, “Was the rating over there the same as here?” This, I immediately realized, would be an excellent topic for a blog post.
In the US, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been giving films those familiar ratings since 1968: G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. In Germany, there’s a similar organization, the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft, or FSK. The FSK classifies films under the following categories for both movie theaters and television broadcast:
- Ohne Altersbeschränkung (FSK 0): This means no age restriction. This is pretty much the same as a G rating in the US.
- Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren (FSK 6): No children younger than 6 years admitted. This is similar to the PG rating in the US.
- Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren (FSK 12): Children 12 or older admitted, and children between 6 and 11 only when accompanied by parent or a legal guardian. Films in this category can generally be broadcast on TV all day. This is similar to our PG-13 rating.
- Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren (FSK 16): Children 16 or older admitted, and nobody under this age is admitted. This rating can be broadcast on TV only after 10 PM unless approved by special permit or re-edited to secure an FSK12 rating. This is similar to our R rating.
- Keine Jugendfreigabe (FSK 18): “No youth admitted”, only adults. This is the local equivalent of the NC-17 rating in the US. Movies with this rating can be broadcast on TV after 11 PM. However, nudity isn’t all that unusual on broadcast television here, especially later at night.
All the above ratings also contain the phrase “gemäß §14 JuSchG” (in accordance with §14 of the Youth Protection Law), which means that they are legally binding. This differs wildly from the MPAA’s ratings, which are merely recommendations and are not actually legally binding.
Oh, and RoboCop has an FSK12 rating here, in case you were curious.
If you were a movie, what would your rating be?