• Fish tank follows the story of 15 year old Mia Williams who lives on a deprived council estate in East London. When he mother brings home her new boyfriend all changes for the young teen.• She begins to see her mother’s boyfriend Connor as a father figure which we can see she has never had. Throughout the film we see her constantly trying to reject this kind of affection which Connor fails to understand.• However the relationship between the two becomes dangerously intimate leading to them sleeping together with Mia’s mother totally unaware upstairs.
• The film won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.• It received a strong critical reception after it was showcased at the Cannes film festival.• The film was given a rating 15 by the BBFC but the filmmakers did not originally request a specific classification. The BBFC felt it contained reasons under the 15 and 18 classification.• The key classification issues were that there was strong language, sex, sex references, drug use, moderate violence and possible animal cruelty.• The main reason for the classification was ‘strong language’. In the first 10 minutes we see Mia use the words ‘bitch’ when leaving her friend a message and ‘cunt’ when she speaks to her friends dad.
• “At ‘15’ the BBFC Guidelines say: The strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.”• However the use of strong language is justified in the film, especially between Mia and her mother as it stresses their difficult relationship. The constant use of the word ‘cunt’ in the film can be classified under an ‘18’ like films such as This is England. But because of the relationship the characters have this language is needed to express it.
• One key scene that the BBFC had to consider was the sex scene between Mia and Connor. As she is 15 in the film and actress Katie Jarvis was also 15/16 years old at the time, the BBFC had to consider whether any offence was committed against the Protection of Children Act. As she is legally a child it is against to have sex before the age of 16.• The BBFC had to view whether the scene was excplicit in their decision. As the room was dimly lit and Mia is scene fully clothed and their was no explicit nature to the scene this was key scene for the plot for the plot of the film.
• I think the film Fish Tank does explore a great sense of realism for the middle class. Mia is presented a socially neglected and emotionally neglected teen who is outcasted by her friends and mother.• We begin to build a bond and sympathy for Mia as she struggles through the film. We sympathize with her as we can see she tried hard to fit in and do the right thing, however this always fails or ends up taking the wrong turn.
• I think the film highlights a lot of different issues that occur in todays society. The fact that Mia’s younger sister Tyler in one scene is seen smoking and drinking cider suggests a very neglected child who is free to do whatever she wants.• Also, the use of strong language throughout amongst all the characters as said before stresses the relationship and upbringing of Mia as well as Tyler.
• I think that the classification of 15 is an acceptable one. Even though you do have 2 sex scenes, one being more graphic than the other (of Mia’s mother and Connor) and there is a lot of strong language, the BBFC clearly see that this is needed to the atmosphere and effect it has on the characters to help us as viewers understand where they are coming from.