Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Movie Guidelines or Censorship?

This week we saw the documentary This Movie Is Not Yet Rated and it made me think.

I was not aware the movie rating system was under such strict secrecy and with no effective recourse for movie makers who disagree with the rating. This is the movie industry, and it's just not fair. What exactly puts a film in one rating category or another? The criterion appears to be very subjective and the guiding force seems to be the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America).

Watching this documentary made me wonder about movie ratings. A rating gives guidelines for parents when deciding if their children can see a particular movie. Another rating hints that this one might be violent or sexual or wholesome.

Who decides if the film is suitable for children, or teenagers, or boys, or girls, or church-goers, or intellectuals, or politicians, or any category of potential viewers?
Film ratings affect distribution and is actually a crude form of censorship.

Guidelines are welcome, but the system that provides these guidelines is secret and unquestionably against our freedoms.

Garry's recent post looks at the general topic of freedom of speech in America, Iran and China.

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