This Film Is Not Yet Rated

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

The improbably named director Kirby Dick takes his audience through an examination of a maddeningly Kafkaesque organization: the MPAA, the body which rates films in the US for exhibition. Not mandated by any law, the MPAA rates films using an anonymous group of supposedly typical American parents. These anonymous folks are purveyors of the cognitively dissonant philosophy that peddles violence, but is puritanical about sexuality. Gramsci would describe them as organs of the ideological state apparatus. The film succeeds in telling a story by using a light touch on the irony button, and made me feel very glad that the MPAA is an organization that will be killed by our ongoing digital revolution.

Conversation starters

  • Is there any benefit to industry self regulation, or should content ratings systems be handled by a government agency?
  • Should professional experts (psychologists, child development experts, and so on) be engage in the film ratings system, or is the process best served by using laypeople?
  • Is it possible for the MPAA to mitigate the problems encountered by small, independent film-makers in the current film ratings system?

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