Created by Kirby Dick, This Film Is Not Yet Rated provides an eye-opening view of the overlooked world of Hollywood’s film-rating system.
The MPAA has five ratings used to classify which age groups are appropriate for every new release. G is for General Audience and can be viewed by everyone regardless of their age. PG stands for Parental Guidance, dictating required supervision by an adult. PG-13 indicates that Parental Guidance is suggested, and that material may be inappropriate for children. R is for Restricted, meaning audience members 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. These four ratings are the most accepted among the five, commonly presented by cinemas and featured in public advertisements.
However, there is one additional rating feared by many, as it is considered to be the gravest and most vile of all: NC-17. This Film Is Not Yet Rated dives deep into the mysterious rating, formerly known only as “X”.
NC-17 is a grade often given to films that present overtly graphic sexual and violent content. However, according to Dick’s documentary and a range of filmmakers whose work received this rating, it is often the other way around.
In a world wherein conservatism fuels every medium and sexual independence remains unacceptable for public consumption, films–particularly on the independent side–continue to be unfairly treated by many rating boards due to misinterpreted contexts surrounding the presentation of sex and violence. It is this mindset that earned films such as American Psycho, Boys Don’t Cry, The Cooler, and Team America: World Police the stamp of an NC-17 rating.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated is not a critique of MPAA, but rather an investigation of what causes such anomalies to occur. It is a fun documentary at times, proceeding much like a detective thriller. If you’re seeking a documentary about the many shades of the Hollywood movie industry, this is a sure-fire recommendation.