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Court reverses censors on ‘A.I.’

Age limit for pic now 7

STOCKHOLM — Swedish distrib Sandrew Metronome has won its appeal against the 15 rating for Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.”

A Swedish court has awarded the pic an 11 rating, overturning the decision by the State Board of Censors to bar children under 15 from seeing the movie.

The 11 rating is a parental guidance category that means kids as young as 7 years old can see the movie if accompanied by an adult.

Members of the censorship board are furious at the court’s ruling. Last year they were criticized by Sweden’s culture minister for being too lax after they gave “Scary Movie” an 11 rating. As a result, the government cut their terms of office from five years to three, claiming that overexposure to movies had inured them to onscreen violence.

But their attempt to get tough has now been countermanded by the court. The censors are considering their own legal challenge against the court’s decision on the grounds that it did not follow the proper legal procedure of consulting with an expert in child psychology.

The censorship board gave Spielberg’s movie a 15 rating on the grounds that certain scenes — particularly one where a child character is lost in a forest — were too “emotionally disturbing.”

“I cannot remember when we last went to court to change a decision by the censors, but it confirmed we were right,” said Staffan Wallhem, CEO of Sandrew Metronome Sweden.

“A.I.” will be released Sept. 28 on 80 prints in Sweden.

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