Axelle Carolyn made her feature directorial debut last year with Soulmate, bowing on the festival circuit and getting a welcome reception at its UK premiere at Film4 FrightFest’s October event.
Before the BBFC were willing to give the film a rating for its DVD release this summer, though, they demanded a number of cuts be made, the most notable of which was the opening scene, in which Anna Walton’s leading character, Audrey, attempts to commit suicide.
Fortunately for us, Carolyn has taken to Twitter to share that opening scene, and it just goes to show how bewildering a case this really is.
Back in June, Carolyn revealed that the ratings board had demanded four long cuts be made for the film to get an 18 certificate here in the UK. Soda Pictures had been scheduling the film for release on July 21st, but that ultimately got pushed back to August 11th, with the film finally earning a 15 rating from the BBFC.
Now that you can see Walton’s actions in the opening scene, you can fully appreciate why everyone’s been so confused as to the decision to enforce a cut here. The scene isn’t reinventing the wheel when it comes to a detailed look at suicide or a suicide attempt. It’s graphic, of course, but to demand the scene be excised with the alternative being a ban in the UK certainly seems unwarranted.
Suicide is necessarily different from showcasing graphic violence in film, and undoubtedly that must be what the BBFC has taken into consideration in this case. The ultraviolence we’ve become accustomed to in recent decades is very different to the quiet of a bathroom in which a person has decided to take their life. But to not allow representation of the latter is like putting your head in the sand, at best.
Having now seen the scene, it seems a real shame that the BBFC wasn’t willing to include this on the home entertainment of Carolyn’s feature debut. Let’s all be grateful that at least we now have a place like YouTube in which filmmakers can share these kinds of things when they get removed for physical distribution.
Soulmate is now available to order from Amazon or directly from Soda Pictures. It features a commentary from Carolyn and her husband/producing partner, Neil Marshall (The Descent), as well as two of Carolyn’s earlier short films, The Last Post and The Halloween Kid.
Censorship continues to be an extremely controversial subject, and it’s one we’ll be taking a look at in detail all of next week here at HeyUGuys. We’ve got five days’ worth of features tackling the issue, so be sure to check back after you’ve pounded the snooze button a few times on Monday morning.
It goes without saying that this is NSFW. It is a very effective scene and should be viewed as such.