Chief Censor concerned over A Star is Born

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 6 November 2018, 2:08p.m.
A suicide scene in the film has caused 'severe triggers'. (Photo / Supplied)
A suicide scene in the film has caused 'severe triggers'. (Photo / Supplied)

New film A Star is Born must include a warning that the plot includes suicide after viewers were "severely triggered" by the storyline.

New Zealand's Chief Censor will require the warning note about the Bradley Cooper film to be updated amid concerns its content has caused 'severe triggers' for some viewers.

The film was originally classified as M (suitable for those 16 and over). But now the warning will be updated to state: "Sex Scenes, Offensive Language, Drug Use & Suicide".
Chief Censor David Shanks told Stuff he required an update to the description after receiving complaints, including from health care providers and the Mental Health Foundation.

The Police Victim Support team had advised that two vulnerable young people had been 'severely triggered' by the movie.

Shanks said complaints had been received from healthcare providers and the Mental Health Foundation, Stuff reported.

The method of suicide used in A Star Is Born was the most common method of suicide in New Zealand, Shanks said.

The Mental Health Foundation is also warning potential viewers about triggering scenes in A Star is Born, which they said had generated considerable feedback.

"The Office of Film and Literature Classification have added a note warning that the movie includes a suicide.

"While the suicide mostly happens off-screen, we have heard some viewers were extremely distressed after watching this movie and have needed to access professional support."

The Mental Health Foundation said the film was one of several films and TV shows that had upset Kiwi viewers.

"Some people were unaware that suicide would be explored before they watched and were very distressed after viewing," it said.

"We do know that suicide on screen can cause significant distress, and can, in some cases, lead to vulnerable viewers becoming suicidal."

A Star is Born is a re-make of a popular film first screened in 1937.

The film tells the story of seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Cooper) discovers, who falls in love with struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga), coaxing her into the spotlight.

As Ally's career takes off their relationship breaks down, as Jackson confronts his internal demons.

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