MTRCB okays 'Django Unchained' without cuts

Posted at 03/11/2013 4:41 PM | Updated as of 03/11/2013 4:41 PM
A bloody scene from Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained"

MANILA, Philippines – Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning slavery drama “Django Unchained” has been approved without cuts by the Movie & Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) with a rating of R-16, its local distributor said Monday.

In a statement, Columbia Pictures said the R-16 rating means "audiences 16-years-old and above may be admitted to the film" when it opens in theaters on March 13.

“Film buffs and moviegoers will thus be treated to an uncut depiction of slavery in the American South, the physical and psychological violence perpetrated upon African-Americans, and the utter inhumanity of it all,” the statement said.

Tarantino won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the movie, while Christoph Waltz was named Best Supporting Actor for his role as a German-born bounty hunter King Schultz.

Set two years before the Civil War, “Django Unchained” revolves around Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with Schultz, who is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers. Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive. Success leads Schultz to free Django, although the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side.

“Django Unchained” became a subject of debate for its depiction of violence, with some conservative groups pushing for a more restrictive NC-17 rating in the U.S.

The British Board of Film Classication gave it an R-18 rating for “strong bloody violence,” pointing to several scenes including an extended shootout that “involves copious amounts of blood spurting from bullet wounds, drenching clothes and carpets and spraying up walls.”

“At one point a man's head is blown open, resulting in sight of brain matter spraying out,” the BBFC said on its website.

“The film also contains some strong language and racist language, reflecting the period in which the film is set,” it added.

But the film also had its share of raves from critics.

“More than any other director, Quentin Tarantino tests and extends the power of pop culture fantasy to engage the painful atrocities of history,” wrote The New York Times film critic A.O. Scott. “[‘Django Unchained’] is digressive, jokey, giddily brutal and ferociously profane. But it is also a troubling and important movie about slavery and racism.”