'4 Months' gets French all-ages OK

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PARIS -- Two months, one week and one day after its May 17 premiere at the Festival de Cannes, Romanian director Cristian Mungiu's Palme d'Or-winning "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" was declared suitable for all audiences by France's Film Classification Commission, state film body the CNC said Tuesday night.

The film will be released in Gaul on Aug. 29 with just a warning cautioning viewers that "the subject of the film, its treatment and certain scenes may disturb sensitive spectators, more particularly young viewers for whom an accompanying adult is recommended," French Cultural Minister Christine Albanel said in a statement.

This is not the first time that a Palme d'Or winner has been subject to censorship in France. Last year's winner, Ken Loach's "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," also was released to all audiences with a warning, and Gus Van Sant's "Elephant" (2003), Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994) and David Lynch's "Sailor and Lula" (1990) were all banned for the under-12 crowd.

The decision comes after the film caused a commotion here after it won France's National Education Prize, a government grant to create a special DVD version of the movie for upper-secondary schoolchildren.

French Education Minister Xavier Darcos deemed the film unacceptable viewing for the children 15-18 and announced he would ban the DVD from schools.

However, pressure from French director's union the SRF and other critics accusing Darcos of succumbing to demands of pro-life lobbyists led the Education Minister to rescind his decision and allow the film to be shown in schools.
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