This Film is Not Yet Rated: Unrated (2006)

Pussy, prick, cock, threesome, orgasm, cumming, doggy style, sixty-nine, orgy, jerk off, gang bang, cunt, cunnilingus, glory hole. If any of these words made you cringe, you’ve proven the basic point of “This Film is Not Yet Rated.” Why is America so afraid of sex? Why does sex frighten us? Why does liking certain sexual acts make us flee in terror? What about sex makes us afraid that it will shake our foundation? America is one of the few countries in the world so adamant about concealing sexual acts, and sexual themes are what sink films into NC-17 ratings. And most of these films with the NC-17’s are masterpieces; masterpieces that many people haven’t seen, like “The Dreamers” and “The Cooler.” And, that’s a damn shame.

“This Film is Not Yet Rated” answered all my questions and confronted all my gripes, there are two members of a Catholic/Christian clergy on the board, the raters do not have children in their teens as commonly believed, they may or may not allow gay and lesbian voters, appeals allow for very little argument and are never won by the director, and, most shocking, most of the directors interviewed would rather have the government decide their film’s ratings instead of the MPAA. Why? Well, once you finish this film, you’ll understand why. Fact: we know more about the government’s practices than we do the MPAA’s practices. Fact: The MPAA wants to control online sites of all kinds, from fan sites, to movie news sites and set guidelines on what sort of violent content can be featured. Fact: The MPAA refuses to allow its member to be influenced by outside material in their ratings process, yet have meetings with studio executives during their process.

Dick reveals so much about the MPAA, yet sadly, there’s still so much that has yet to be revealed. Including the reason why this organization is so hush hush about its practices and methods. Probably because they’ll be rendered powerless, since Valenti has used fear tactics, and supposed polls to keep his corporation in power and relevant, and probably because the respectful filmmakers will learn of the obvious exceptions being held to big studio productions over independent filmmaking since its conception.

And they’ve fed the average director the illusion that the decisions of ratings are optional and have no effect on their film’s quality, yet a film given an NC-17 rating is often not marketed, or advertised, and any profits made are barely noticeable to the average studio. The MPAA deserves to be taken to task, and they’re done so with heavy investigation, and Dick’s insistence on being taken as an equal by an archaic and unfair system by an yet another organization who pretends to have our best interests in hearts, when really they just have the studio’s best interests at heart.

Dick doesn’t edit craftily like Moore, and he instead informs us about what this organization is doing, and what they’re doing to artists who want to express their own visions to us. It may not seem like much of a problem to the average yokel, but to people with visions and a statement, this is censorship pure and simple. The MPAA is on a short time clock, and they have a lot to answer for. Thankfully, Dick does a service to the average movie-goer and the average filmmaker by taking this wholly unnecessary dictatorship to task. Kirby’s documentary is informative and rich in pure insight revealing a lot about the practices of the MPAA, yet there are still much unknown to the filmmaker because the organization is tighter than a virginal Catholic Nun. It’s satisfying and exceptional because it answers many questions, and reveals that America, as “evolved” as we are, is still so afraid of sex.