GUILTY OF ROMANCE | British Board of Film Classification
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GUILTY OF ROMANCE [Extended Version]

GUILTY OF ROMANCE <span>[Extended Version]</span> artwork

GUILTY OF ROMANCE [Extended Version]

Type of media Video

Approved Running time 144m 46s

Ratings Info Contains strong sex, sexual violence, sexual fetish scenes & injury detail

Genre(s) Drama

Director(s) Shion Sono

Cast includes Miki Mizuno, Makoto Togashi, Megumi Kagurazaka, Cynthia Cheston

Cut This work was passed uncut.

  • Suitable only for adults icon18

Ratings info

Ratings info publication date 01/09/2011

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

GUILTY OF ROMANCE is a Japanese thriller, subtitled in English. Police detective Yoshida investigates a gruesome murder when two mutilated bodies are found in an abandoned apartment in a Tokyo red light district. Her search for the victims' identities leads her to Mitsuko, a respected female university professor who lives a dangerous secret life as a prostitute, and an apparently demure housewife, Izumi. The film was classified '18' for strong sex, nudity, sexual violence and very strong language.

The film contains a number of scenes of strong sex, including a woman being surprised in a bath and masturbated under water, a couple having uninhibited sex in a toilet, a woman having sex with a man in the shower of a 'love hotel', and a woman having sex with a man during the shooting of a porn film. Some of the scenes feature full frontal female nudity and prolonged sexual thrusting. The BBFC's Guidelines at '15' state 'Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail' and the sex scenes in GUILTY OF ROMANCE exceed this test, in terms of detail, duration, and frequency. The film also contains some scenes of strong nudity, including a scene in which a woman is coerced into stripping as part of a porn shoot. The Guidelines at '15' state 'Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail'. Given the sleazy nature of the environment and the strong focus on nudity within a pornographic context, the nudity is more appropriately classified at '18'.

The film contains a complex scene of sexual violence in which a man, who has just engaged in consensual sexual activity with a woman, refuses to allow her to leave. He then restrains the woman and forces her to phone her husband to apologise for not returning home, as he continues to thrust into her. The woman is clearly distressed and the focus is on her lack of consent and the man's brutality, rather than on any erotic detail. It is also an important scene in narrative terms, in order to illustrate the nature of the two characters in question. The scene does not invite the audience to regard the man's behaviour as acceptable or trivial. Nonetheless, the scene exceeds the terms of the '15' Guidelines, which state 'Any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet'.

The film also contains a scene of erotic asphyxiation, in which a man pays a woman to choke him during sexual activity, in order to help him reach climax. However, the potentially lethal nature of the practice is clear and the practice is not glamorised or promoted. The idea of erotic asphyxiation is unlikely to be a novel one to most adults and there is no unusual instructional detail, particularly when compared to previous films such as IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (L'EMPIRE DES SENS).

GUILTY OF ROMANCE also includes several uses of strong language and three uses of very strong language in an aggressive and/or violent context. The Guidelines at '15' state 'There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, 'fuck'). The strongest terms (for example, 'cunt') may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable'. Given the aggressive nature of the very strong language, the film was more appropriately classified at '18'.

The film also features one scene in which an adult woman squats down and appears to urinate in front of two young children. However, there is no sexual element to the scene, which appears to have been carefully shot to avoid exposing the child actors to any actual urination. There is no lewdness or indecency that would raise concerns under the Protection of Children Act 1978.


Title Information
Extended Version
Also known as
Eureka Entertainment Ltd
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
144m 46s
BBFC reference

Components List

This work is made up of a number of separate components. Note that since February 2001 the BBFC has measured each component separately, but older works may not have the exact details, only a list of titles


Rating information

The version of this work detailed above is rated by the BBFC under the Video Recordings Act 1984 for use on any Packaged Media format (including DVD, Blu-ray and VHS). This classification may also be used when the same work is made available on Digital Video Platforms (including Video On Demand) provided that the platform is licenced to use BBFC ratings.

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