L'ILLUSIONNISTE | British Board of Film Classification
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Type of media Video

Approved Running time 76m 27s

Ratings Info Contains a scene of aborted suicide and images of smoking

Genre(s) Animation

Director(s) Sylvain Chomet

Cast includes Jean Claude Donda (voice), Edith Pankin (voice)

Cut This work was passed uncut.

  • Parental guidance iconPG

Ratings info

Ratings info publication date 07/01/2011

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

L'ILLUSIONNISTE (THE ILLUSIONIST) is an animated film set in 1959 about a struggling magician who finds that his act is no longer considered fashionable in a rapidly changing world. The film was classified 'PG' for a scene of aborted suicide and images of smoking.

The film follows the magician's journey through London and the far North of Scotland where he meets other struggling acts, including a clown whose dwindling livelihood pushes him to attempt suicide. He is seen standing on a chair in his hotel room with his head in a noose but is interrupted by a tap on his door. A young woman who has been accompanying the magician brings him a bowl of home-made soup. This simple act of kindness reinvigorates the clown, both physically and spiritually, and imbues him with a renewed zest for life. The BBFC's Guidelines at 'PG' state that there should be 'No detail of potentially dangerous behaviour which young children are likely to copy'. There is nothing in the scene to suggest that hanging is either fun or harm-free; on the contrary, the implication is that it is lethal.

The film also contains frequent images of smoking. The Guidelines make it clear, in relation to issues such as smoking, that 'classification decisions will also take into account any promotion or glamorisation of such activities'. L'ILLUSIONNISTE is set at a time, and in a world, where many adults smoked as a matter of course. As well as the main adult characters, many background characters can be seen smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes. The smoking is always shown to be incidental to the narrative and at no time does the film as a whole either promote or glamorise it. In addition, while the film may have some appeal to children, it is unlikely that they would identify with any of the adults who are seen smoking.


Also known as
Pathe Productions LTD
Classified date(s)
Main language
Other languages
Submitted run time
76m 27s
BBFC reference

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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