Doc of the Week : This Film is Not Yet Rated!

Becky Beamer Doc and a Drink Review documentary www.beckybeamer.com

FILM:  This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

FILMMAKER:  Kirby Dick

REVIEWER:  Becky Beamer

This Film documents a history of the MPAA ratings board. Talks to numerous directors and actors about the censorship of their movies before they could be released. Includes directors, Kevin Smith, Matt Stone, John Waters, Darren Aronosfsky, Maria Bello, Atom Egoyan. Director, Kirby Dick hires a lesbian family of private investigators to find out the names of the MPAA ratings board and see if the raters are actually parents of children 5-17 like the MPAA tells American parents they are.

I love when documentaries make me think about something I’ve taken for granted.  Case and point – the MPAA rating system.  I started thinking about censorship and the all-powerful studios.

Knowing me, if my film was critiqued in an unfair way by the MPAA, I also would have felt the need to push boundaries and boycott the system by rolling with the “NR” or not rated cut of the film.  Unfortunately, it’s not that easy in “real life”.  The “real life” in which your film rating means distribution, marketing, and making a living.

Sad.

I feel the need to mention that this documentary had great interviews with many well-known filmmakers.  The filmmakers speak quite frankly about censorship of their films by the MPAA.  Even This Film is Not Yet Rated had more than a handful of scenes that needed editing before the NC-17 rating could be removed.

Personally, I do believe that American’s can be prudish.  The MPAA is a reflection of this majority.  The MPAA is not the first system set up to regulate a type of business that ends up favoring big business.  (Check out our review of Beers Wars for another story of conquering big business).

I wish this film actually changed the ratings process.  It didn’t – but maybe it will start the ball rolling…..

4 out of 5 Cheers

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