A star-studded investigation into the business of film censorship, Kirby Dick's (Sick: The Live and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist) entertaining and illuminating documentary offers an expose of the notoriously secretive methods of the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings board.
Dick's film reveals the hypocrisy of America's screen censors: their notoriously contradictory attitudes to onscreen depictions of violence and sex. It features astonishing archival footage and interviews with a wealth of film directors including Atom Egoyan, Kevin Smith, John Waters, Mary Harron and South Park's Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Dick's mission to identify the anonymous men and women who pass judgement on the 'suitability' of American movies and his quest for clearly stated rules finally sees the filmmaker resorting to an ingenious narrative device: the hiring of a highly resourceful private investigator.
By turns angry, hilarious and outspoken, This Film Is Not Yet Rated asks whether Hollywood movies and independent films are rated equally for comparable content and whether sexual content in gay-themed movies is given harsher ratings penalties than their hetrosexual counterparts. At heart, though, Dick's breakthrough film into the MPAA is a simple and timely plea for transparency.
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