With the age rating of the action thriller “Valley of the Scorpions,” the FSK has made a decision that cannot really be explained to anyone. We will try anyway …
So that’s immediately clear: We are in no way complaining that the unedited version of the Director’s Cut of the action hit “Valley of the Scorpions,” which opens in German theaters next week, has been approved for ages 18 and over. It is seldom enough that German filmmakers, like Patrick Roy Beckert in this case, dare to let it tear properly on screen; So please don’t whistle back at them right away.
At the same time, if you take a quick look at the technical data, you wonder: Does a garbage festival of this kind with C celebrities, from Ralf Richter to Manuela Schäfer, really have to last 131 minutes? That seems very excessive, and the producers themselves apparently saw it that way, which is why they submitted a shorter 25-minute version (with the same brutal scenes) for the Director’s Cut some time after the approval of FSK-18. Not only does it demand less patience on the part of fans, it’s also a lot easier to even get the movie to theaters if it’s not too long. It makes total artistic and commercial sense.
But then the big surprise: the shortened version was not approved by the FSK. In other words: the movie can go to the cinema without cutting, but without cutting (at least not without more). Hey?
Yes, what now?
Since that (not only) sounds pretty absurd at first, we simply asked FSK, but they referred us directly to the Busch Media rental company. Their managing director, Simon Busch, explained the situation to us in great detail. He also sent us the full text of the FSK justification, although with the request not to quote it verbatim. So here is his general explanation of the supposedly contradictory FSK decisions:
“This seems to be mainly due to the fact that both versions were examined by different bodies. While the committee that examined the Director’s Cut concluded that the violence was staged in such an exaggerated manner that a detrimental effect on young people could be ruled out, the second committee was of the opinion that there could be a serious risk for young people.
Of course, these scenes of violence are identical in both versions. In the Director’s Cut version that we are showing in the cinema there are even additional scenes with violent peaks. We assume that different decisions were made simply due to two different organs with different compositions. Such decisions are always subjective. However, it is unusual for a commission to unanimously testify to an alleged grave danger to young people, for which there are clear indications that our opinion does not apply here.“
We also ask why a shorter version was shipped, when the longer version already had FSK-18 approval in its pocket:
“The short version shipped at a later date. There were two reasons for this: on the one hand, we want a slightly more “tight” version that focuses on the essentials. 130 minutes is quite long. On the other hand, with a duration of more than 120 minutes, it is more difficult to rent to cinemas, since if it is too long it becomes problematic for cinemas to screen two screenings per night.“
“Valley of the Scorpions” runs – uncut and from the 18th – from June 20, 2019 in German cinemas. The world premiere will take place in Berlin on Monday, June 17, in the presence of the stars.