Welcome to MI6 Headquarters

This is the world's most visited unofficial James Bond 007 website with daily updates, news & analysis of all things 007 and an extensive encyclopaedia. Tap into Ian Fleming's spy from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig with our expert online coverage and a rich, colour print magazine dedicated to spies.

Learn More About MI6 & James Bond →

BFI posts content warnings ahead of James Bond film screenings

05-Jan-2024 • Bond News

The British Film Institute will celebrate the work of composer John Barry with a special season of film screenings next month. 'Goldfinger' and 'You Only Live Twice' are the James Bond films selected for the first half of the event, with 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' included later in the March program.

What has sparked media coverage of the otherwise innocuous event has been the BFI slapping trigger warnings on the films.

The event page states: "Please note that many of these films contain language, images or other content that reflect views prevalent in its time, but will cause offence today (as they did then). The titles are included here for historical, cultural or aesthetic reasons and these views are in no way endorsed by the BFI or its partners."

In particular, 'You Only Live Twice' comes with an additional warning: "Contains outdated racial stereotypes."

The BFI's insistence that these films will cause offence is perhaps pre-judging their audience's tolerance a little too harshly.

Sometimes a trigger has to be pulled, not contained on a warning label. 

A BFI spokesperson said: “As a cultural charity with responsibility for the preservation of film and moving image work and presenting it to audiences, we continuously face and deal with challenges presented by the history of film and television programmes and how they reflect views prevalent to their time.  

“Whilst we have a responsibility to preserve films as close to their contemporaneous accuracy as possible, even where they contain language or depiction which we categorically reject, we also have a responsibility in how we present them to our audiences.  The trigger warnings/content warnings that we provide in all of our exhibition spaces and online platforms act as guidance that a film or work reflects views of the time in which they were made and which may cause offence. 

“We continuously review our processes around the presentation of film and moving image work to make improvements and support audience trust.  We listen to customer feedback and also continue to work closely with the BBFC and their classifications to give appropriate guidance.  This work is by its nature on-going.”

Open in a new window/tab