Germany Wants Tighter Restrictions on Violent Films

 Warner Bros.

COLOGNE, Germany – Just days after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Germany is proposing a new law to make it harder for young children to watch violent movies.

The proposed legislation would change Germany's current 12+ rating, equivalent to the PG-13 rating in the U.S., where children six or older can be admitted to the film if accompanied by an adult. A new rating system would introduce a new category of “adult-accompanied” films, where parents could take their young children, differentiated from the 12+ rating, for which admission would be restricted for anyone under 12.

In an interview with newsmagazine Der Spiegel, Germany's Family Minister Kristina Schroder said the new rating system would allow parents to better distinquish between “family friendly” films and ones with excessive violence inappropriate for very young viewers.

The proposed law was in discussion well before the shooting last Friday in which at least 12 people were killed and more than 50 injured at a midnight screening of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. But the killings and the worldwide publicity they have generated are certain to heat up discussion surrounding the issue here. The Dark Knight Rises, which opens in Germany July 26th, is rated 12+ for violence.

Restricting access to violent films and video games is a hot-button topic in Germany, which has strict restrictions on the media depiction of violence on platforms - such as primetime television - where it can be easily seen by children.

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