The NC-17 rated documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated examines the MPAA film rating board. Director Kirby Dick hires a private investigator to expose the identity of the anonymous rating board.
The film ratings from the MPAA were intended to be a way of heading off government censorship, but many now question if it was just a ruse.
The ratings board is supposedly comprised of “parents” but Dick discovered that hardly any have children under 18, which is the age group to whom the ratings are supposed to apply.
I do not disagree with the MPAA’s decision to keep the member’s of the rating board anonymous, but if the reason is only to protect the fact that the people (demographically representative panel of parents of children) rating the films do not really fit into this category we believe they do, then I see a problem.
The ratings currently used by the MPAA include:
- Rated G: General Audiences – all ages are admitted
- Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – some material may not be suitable for children
- Rated PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned- some material may be inappropriate for children under 13
- Rated R: Restricted- Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
- Rated NC-17: No-children under 17 admitted.
Dick also examines the censorship of NC-17 rated movies and what differentiates R-rated films from NC-17 films. He questions the boards ratings by showing side-by side sex scenes from films with different ratings, that are virtually identical apart from the genders of the participants.
This Film is Not Yet Rated seems to achieve goal of get people talking, hopefully in great numbers, about the MPAA and the absurdity of its ratings system, but aside from that doesn’t seem to have much purpose. Can the MPAA not just hire a new rating board? Was this effort anything more than just an inconvenience for the MPAA?
I have definitely been more educated about the MPAA, so Kirby Dick…you have accomplished something more than just making yourself feel better.