Film review: this film is not yet rated.

Position::Movie review


Click on cover to buy this film from for only $17.99 Reprinted with permission of Dr. Marty Klein from blog

Imagine a small group that controls what movies a country's citizens can see, what films can be advertised, what pictures and words filmmakers are allowed to use. Imagine that the names of the group's members are strictly secret, as are the rules they use to determine what filmmakers can do and what the public can see.

Is this Russia's KGB? Saudi Arabia's Wahhabis? Castro's revolutionary censors?

No, it's the Motion Picture Association of America, the private board that chooses a film's rating--which shapes who can see it and where it will be shown. Their control extends to DVDs too, because chains like Blockbuster and Wal-Mart restrict the sale of R-rated films and won't carry films rated NC-17 at all. That's why the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated won't be carried in the 10,000 U.S. stores the two companies control. It's also why newspapers won't accept ads for the film, even ads that are completely tame.

This Film ... is an entertaining, 90-minute documentary available through Netflix. It features interviews with many well-known movie people, such as director John Waters, Newsweek critic David Ansen, and "South Park" producer Matt Stone. All agree that the MPAA is a corrupt, secretive, punitive organization that damages both American cinema and American freedom. Even these huge names have been unable to get straight answers from the MPAA.

In repeated interviews, MPAA President Jack Valenti is shown to be self-deluding, hypocritical, or both. When he claims the ratings board helps filmmakers and families, he offers no evidence of either. The board's chair says the board is composed of ordinary "parents," and that experts in psychology, sociology, art, and child development are simply unnecessary. Yet the board regularly consults Christian clergy. And by the way, almost none of these "parents" have children under 25.

An intriguing story line keeps the film moving. Filmmaker Kirby Dick actually hired a private investigator to uncover board members' names, and we follow her as she stakes out the MPAA building, follows and secretly photographs staffers at lunch, and even steals information.

The film exposes the lie of "liberal Hollywood" when it shows that 90% of the film industry is controlled by just six gigantic corporations, like Viacom and Walt...

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