Warning: Disturbing content and 'A Serbian Film' spoilers.
A Serbian Film Uncut is one of the most disturbing horror movies ever made, even though director Srđan Spasojević ''wishes I had made it harder. More extreme.'' While A Serbian Film's political allegory may be a heavy-handed treatment akin to South Park's Indiana Jones rape in 'The China Probrem' (S12E08), there's no doubt that it's highly effective as a horror movie.
Can I Watch A Serbian Film Uncut?
Huge cuts made by censors altered A Serbian Film as it was originally intended, and those brave (or foolhardy) enough to seek out the full version must only watch the Uncut edition, which stands at 104 minutes. Even the NC-17 US version is not whole, with around one minute of content cut.
Check out the trailer if you're curious — don't worry, it doesn't depict any of the child abuse, necrophilia or giant fake boners seen in the movie — and read on if you're interested in the effect of the censored content on A Serbian Film.
As the American MPAA are shady about why they cut particular moments, I'll be looking at the four minutes, eleven seconds taken from the A Serbian Film Uncut by the British Board of Film Classification, who are more transparent about their policy. Regarding A Serbian Film, the BBFC noted:
Cuts required to remove portrayals of children in a sexualized or abusive context and images of sexual and sexualized violence which have a tendency to eroticize or endorse the behavior. (BBFC)
Which Scenes In A Serbian Film Were Cut?
The four minutes, eleven seconds the BBFC cut from A Serbian Film Uncut can mostly be boiled down to a few key scenes involving the ''portrayals of children in a sexualized context and images of sexualized violence'':
- Vukmir receiving oral sex while watching a video of Milos's 6-year-old son, Petar
- Scenes of fellatio are interspliced with scenes of a little girl sucking a lollipop
- Rape of a young boy
- Rape of a newborn baby
- Jeca's mother's rape and murder
- Lejla's rape and murder
How Did The Cut Scenes Affect A Serbian Film?
1. Jeca's Mother
Milos is injected with bovine viagra and forced to rape and behead Jeca's Mother. This scene is extremely cut down, even to the point that she cries in terror even before she sees Milos has a machete. If we are to believe that a person on screen is truly suffering, should we not suffer with them? Jeca's Mother's tragedy is obscured by weird editing.
2. Lejla's Death
Lejla dies a horrible death in A Serbian Film Uncut. Her teeth are removed, and she is orally raped as a henchman holds her nostrils closed, suffocating her. The uncut version cuts down this violence to the point where it pretty much just looks like a regular blow-job, which is totally insulting to the level of violence here. Her character seems to just magically disappear in the censored version.
3. The Baby
The main scene that was cut down occurs at 57:00 in the Uncut version. Yup, it's the infamous 'Newborn Porn' segment in which a stomach-churningly gory childbirth is followed by a stomach-churning rape of a newborn baby by a fully grown man. The censored version here is actually more effective (in my opinion) as the cries of the baby can be heard, and we see the horror on Milos's face as he's forced to watch the tape — a case of our fears being worse than what we actually see, perhaps. The uncut scene here is also made less scary with a super-unrealistic fake baby. The BBFC comment on this notorious scene:
All clear shots of the baby being raped have been cut by the BBFC, it is worth noting that the film makers used a prosthetic model during the filming of this scene and that no real baby was harmed.
4. The Finale
The film climaxes with Milos unknowingly raping his 6-year-old son, and although A Serbian Film Uncut doesn't linger on the boy, it is revealed that it is indeed little Petar who has been violated. The censored version doesn't properly acknowledge Petar as a victim, which obscures the reason that Milos and his wife, Marija, eventually kill themselves and their son.
A Serbian Film was already awarded an NC-17 rating in the USA, and required over four minutes of cuts for an 18-rated release in the UK. Since children are already forbidden from seeing the movie, is it really worth editing down four minutes of content for an adult audience? That's a bigger debate, I guess...
See this article for a complete breakdown of A Serbian Film; I watched this disturbing shit so you don't have to! How do you feel about movie censorship?