NC-17 is to film directors as the boogeyman is to children. It’s also the rating the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gives to films containing “any element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children.” But one question remains: who draws that line? Director Kirby Dick delves into the world of film ratings with his thought provoking 2006 documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated”. As noted in the film, the difference between an “R” rating and an “NC-17” rating can often be millions of dollars in profits, as children are not permitted into NC-17 movies even with a parent present. Resulting in major film companies treating the movies as though they had “cooties” of some sort by not wanting to fund or promote them. Dick, along with a private investigator, attempt to expose the highly secretive ratings process and the individuals behind it. Along the way they discover many inconsistencies in past ratings, and discrepancies in how violence and sex are viewed. How is one organization given the power to control media and subsequently American culture so strongly without any checks, balances or restraints? Why are the members of the ratings board kept anonymous? Why is the process by which films are rated kept secret? Those are a few of the issues the documentary thoroughly attempts to answer. I’d highly recommend this film to anyone even remotely interested in film and censorship. Personally, I walked away from this film angry, and wanting to change the “status quo” of the film rating and censorship procedure. Who knows? Maybe you could be the spark that ignites reform in the way our society decides what should and shouldn’t be seen.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
April 6, 2010