Australian Council on Children and the Media

Kenny

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Short takes

Not recommended under 13 (Lang. Theme. Viol. Sex.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Kenny
  • a review of Kenny completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 August 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended for children under 8 years due to violence and disturbing scenes. They may also find the movieu2019s theme uninteresting.
Children aged 8-13 Not recommended for children aged 8-13 years due to frequent coarse language, sexual references, and adult themes.
Children over the age of 13 Children over 13 years could watch this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Kenny
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate coarse language, Crude humour
Length 100 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Kenny (Shane Jacobsen) is a hard working employee of Splash Down, Corporate Bathroom Rentals. Although his efforts to provide serviceable and clean public toilets at large corporate events are rarely appreciated and he is looked upon with disdain by those he serves, Kenny undertakes his work with dignity, infinite patience and a generous sense of humour.

As he works through the calendar’s year of events, he must also manage his at times unruly team of workers, find the time to cope with an ungrateful family who are embarrassed by him, and maintain diplomatic relations with a demanding ex-wife for the sake of his much loved son. Kenny shares his thoughts and musings on his experiences, good and bad, and we share in his occasional victories.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family and workplace relations

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • at a Speedway event, drunk patrons begin setting fire to the portable toilets. While attempting to stop this occurring, Kenny is attacked and one of his workers begins punching people. A brief fight breaks out, but no one is seriously injured.
  • Kenny gets repeatedly punched in the head (he is wearing a protective helmet) during boxing practice.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • during an air-show, a set of explosions are released. No one is harmed, but the explosives are loud.
  • the drunk crowd at the Speedway, in addition to setting fire to the toilets, set fire to cars, damage property, get into fights. The scene is set at night time and at times appears like a near riot.
  • during the Melbourne Cup, Kenny’s son goes looking for him and Kenny panics that he might be lost in the huge crowd. He goes on a search to find his son and in the process of driving a golf-buggy around, accidentally knocks down a drunk patron. The drunk man in not seriously injured. After some time, a much relieved Kenny finds his son.
  • Kenny’s father talks about his death and what his sons must do should he pass away, including ensuring he is cremated. His sons appear somewhat perturbed by this discussion.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

It is unlikely that any scenes in this movie will scare or disturb children over eight.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that any scenes in this movie will scare or disturb children over thirteen.

Product placement

VB beer is displayed and used in this movie.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Kenny refers to his prong, meaning his penis.
  • Kenny talks about a dog passing a stool as an act of ‘bending over like it’s trying to root a cricket ball’.
  • during scenes at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, people are dressed in S&M clothing.
  • Kenny refers to sex as a ‘horizontal folk dance’.
  • Kenny asks his friend whether he thinks “all the girls on Virgin Blue are virgins?”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Kenny is shown waist up while showering.
  • at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, some people are dressed in costumes which exposing their backsides.
  • one man is shown handcuffed and naked in one of the toilets after a bucks night party goes too far. There is no frontal nudity.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • there is frequent drinking of alcohol at the various events. This is shown to be associated with good fun at times, but also largely with poor behaviour and choices.
  • Kenny and his friends drink after work, but he responsibly stays over at his mate’s caravan and doesn’t drive home.
  • at a music festival, Kenny refers to the fact that the young attendees often smoke ‘wacky tobacky’ and take other drugs too.

Coarse language

There is frequent coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shit and many variations, e.g. shit rate, shithouse, shit flinging.
  • bastard
  • arsehole
  • piss
  • poo-tickers
  • crap
  • bloody
  • fucking
  • turd
  • tits, balls
  • God knows, Jesus, Hell, Christ

In a nutshell

Kenny is a feel-good mockumentary about life and the philosophy of a decent hard working man. It is a bit of a slow burn, but as the character and humour of Kenny are gradually revealed, the appeal of the movie becomes evident. It may be somewhat dull and confusing for younger viewers, but older children and adults will appreciate Kenny’s approach to the troubles in his life.

The main message from this movie is that no matter what a person does in life, they can undertake it to the best of their abilities, with self-respect, and respect and compassion for others.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • self-respect
  • compassion
  • caring for and respecting family
  • treating all people equally and not  bad mouthing anyone
  • looking for the positive in all situations
  • finding a positive outlet for anger or frustration e.g. boxing.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • excessive consumption of alcohol
  • racism and homophobia, as expressed by Kenny’s father.

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