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This Film is Not Yet Rated

Film Five Stars

I'd previously seen Kirby Dick's documentary Twist of Faith (review), and that had moved me more than just about any other film had. It is an excellent documentary, and a highly emotive one. So I was incredibly keen to see this film which had moved target onto a current hot topic, the MPAA.

I was amazed at how simple, effective, and eye opening this documentary is, and with this film following Twist of Faith (review), Kirby Dick has become one of my favourite filmmakers.

The film is created very well and superbly edited, it's power is in the simplicity of its message and how Kirby tells it. He presents the argument so logically, openly and in such an adult way that it makes the MPAA look like a secret organisation akin to the CIA, and indeed extremely childish.

It shows quite clearly the lies and secrecy that the MPAA use to hide their policing of the film industry, how independent filmmakers are unfairly hit with harsher ratings, how sex is deemed more in need of censorship than violence, how Jack Valenti, the previous MPAA President used his Congress influence to pass insanely harsh copyright and digital laws, and also who is really behind the MPAA.

The style of the documentary is fast, simple and amusing, and using these methods Kirby creates the compelling expose of the MPAA. At times I was incredibly surprised at what this organisation was doing and how long they had been getting away with it without anyone standing up to them on masse.

Kirby does use some slightly unconventional methods at times, and I was feeling slightly uncomfortable with the idea of them tracing people to their homes and sorting through their rubbish. For me this was skating slightly too close to personal intrusion, but his methods yield surprising results.

Something that the documentary manages not to do is shouting about censorship, it shows through example what the MPAA are doing to films and leaves the idea of enforced censorship out of the story. It shows you the facts such as the mixed decisions by comparing scenes from films. Simple and very effective.

Throughout the film various filmmakers are interviewed about their experiences with the MPAA and how their films were rated. Some of these examples reinforce the idiocy of the system, and shows honestly what the filmmakers think of this organisation.

The final surprise of the movie is left until the very end, and it delivers a superb shock. I'll save that for when you actually watch it, and watch it you must.

Kirby delivers a superb documentary that shows the closed, self serving, dated and extremely corrupt organisation that doesn't give parents what they really need. The MPAA are an organisation who serve box office ticket returns rather than the parents who they claim to be assisting. It's very strong, well structured and edited, and utterly compelling. Oh, and it's funny too.

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Movable Type 3.34