I had never really given the MPAA ratings a second thought untill I watched This Film is Not Yet Rated in class the other day. The directors and producers interviewed in the movie had every right to voice their frustrations about the censorship system. Their films are art after all, work inspired by visions they and their crew conjure in their heads. To put a limit on what is and is not R rated strictly by the number of times a character says fuck or the severity of a sexual or violent scene is demeaning. As it says in the Franklin reading, the message of the film was what used to be capriciously judged as appropriate or not. Franklin goes on to say that "it is a fairly simple matter to edit a film to conform to a particular ratingâ€™s requirements.â€? Why would the film makers have to conform and thus supress their creativity?
One of the interviewees in the film argued a strong point that has stayed with me. He was talking about the purpose of war documentaries and how they reenacted actual events. However gruesome they were, they were reality and you can not put a limit on that by expecting soldiers not to swear or taking out the grotesque violence. The market, the industry, and the government are not protecting Americans by any means especially when censoring the truth. "That's reality and if you can't deal with that, then don't send people to war." The images of hysterical children running away from napalm bombs and the heaps of bodies that littered the streets are what we need to see. We need to see the uncensored truth.