The Motion Picture Association of America upheld its “R” rating for the Holocaust documentary “A Film Unfinished,” after an appeal by the film’s North American distributor, Oscilloscope Laboratories. At today’s hearing the Appeals Board of the MPAA voted 12-3 that the rating was warranted due to the film’s “disturbing images of Holocaust atrocities including graphic nudity.”
Oscilloscope Laboratories, which was founded by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, appealed the decision based on the film’s educational value, and was worried the rating would greatly restrict the film’s use in educational settings. “A Film Unfinished” documents an unfinished Nazi propaganda film shot in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. In its appeal, Oscilloscope pointed to “Last Days,” a Steven Spielberg-produced Holocaust doc from 1998, which was given a PG-13 despite “a well-documented mass execution and extensive nudity,” according to a statement from Oscilloscope.
Said Yauch: “In a world where young people are bombarded with meaningless entertainment, it’s unfortunate that a film with real educational and historic value would be denied to them by an organization that is supposed to be working to help them. I still have hope that the MPAA will reconsider at some point in the future, so young people will be able to learn from this film.”
“An Unfinished Film” will open in New York Aug. 18 and Los Angeles Aug. 20, followed by a national rollout.