Review: This Film Is Not Yet Rated

I've been meaning to watch this movie for a while, and only just got around to it.  This Film Is Not Yet Rated is about the MPAA, the organization responsible for giving movies their ratings:  G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 -- NC-17 basically constituting censorship barring the film from mainstream distribution. The movie is about the director, Kirby Dick, following the ratings board around trying to get information about them, then, in the last third of the movie, his submitting a cut of the film to the ratings board in an attempt to get it rated.

It's a good movie, but it's hard to think of what to say about it, exactly.  It confirms some of my suspicions about the censoring tendencies of our mainstream media, and there were a few things in it that surprised me.  Like, the appeals process includes two religious representatives, a Catholic and an Episcopalian, who by all formal accounts just observe (which suggests a creepy kind of big-brotherish feel) and according to one anonymous source, participate and vote (which is even worse).

My favorite parts of the film were the interviews with other filmmakers who've had their films censored and scuttled by NC-17 ratings, and the perspective they gained on the process during that time.  The basic lesson:  sex is bad, enjoying sex is worse, women and homosexuals enjoying sex is terrible.

It's available on Netflix if you have a subscription, and I think it's worth checking out.  It could really help to flesh out your understanding of how certain perspectives on morality are artificially pumped up behind the scenes in our media.  And it's not boring, either.