Beastie Boys star Adam Yauch has called on officials at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to reconsider the adult rating awarded to new Holocaust documentary A FILM UNFINISHED, insisting the film is "too important" to be banned from schools.
The powerful documentary, written and directed by Yael Hersonski, documents an unfinished Nazi propaganda film shot in 1942.
It has been given an R rating because it features "disturbing images of holocaust atrocities including graphic nudity". The restriction means only people aged 17 and older can view the movie in the theatre unless accompanied by an adult, and the project cannot be shown in classrooms as an educational documentary.
But Yauch is angry about the ruling because he's convinced school children can learn a lot about the Jewish tragedy from the film.
He says, "This is too important of a historical document to ban from classrooms.
"While there’s no doubt that Holocaust atrocities are displayed, if teachers feel their students are ready to understand what happened, it’s essential that young people are given the opportunity to see this film. Why deny them the chance to learn about this critical part of our human history? I understand that the MPAA wants to protect children’s eyes from things that are too overwhelming, but they’ve really gone too far this time. It’s bulls**t."
Executives at Oscilloscope Laboratories, which produced the documentary, have vowed to fight the R rating and will appeal the decision on Thursday (05Aug10).
A Film Unfinished premiered in the U.S. at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Utah to critical acclaim, and it is set to open in select theatres in New York and Los Angeles later this month (Aug10).