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MPAA refuses to lower “R” rating on Holocaust documentary

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A still from "A Film Unfinished"

The Holocaust documentary A Film Unfinished, which exposes never-before-seen Nazi propaganda from the Jewish ghettos of Warsaw, Germany, was slapped with an 'R' rating by the MPAA. The film's distribution company head Adam Yauch (Beastie Boy, Jew) was not too thrilled with the ratings board's decision. However, his appeal failed and it looks as though the "R" will stick. Says Yauch:

"In a world where young people are bombarded with meaningless entertainment, it's unfortunate that a film with real educational and historic value would be denied to them by an organization that is supposed to be working to help them."

Yauch has a point. Kids will be denied. But how inaccessible are banned books, banned films, really? A Film Unfinished is not banned – it's an "R." Is this a really stupid, unjust obstacle? Yes. But it's one parental permission slip away from being shown in public schools, providing you go to the kind of public school that would even show this to begin with, and precluding the teachers who are going to show it anyway, administration be damned! (Those teachers don't exist.)

The MPAA is often arbitrary and unfair. But, as Deadline points out, "Despite the setback the film certainly has an awareness level it didn't before the rating situation flared up."