Lighthearted documentary with a serious subject: the secretive and abusive authority held by the shadowy MPAA and it’s anonymous ratings board over the most important developing art form of the past 100 years and how this untrained, uninformed coterie of “average parents” casually, without benefit of any applicable substantive standards, decides what an artist may or may not depict without getting the dreaded kiss of commercial death NC-17 rating. Several obvious facts are reemphasized such as the MPAA’s curious historic tolerance of extreme violence, especially against women, but assuming an armor of storm-the-castle propriety when it comes to matters sexual. (Including, in one amusing notation, the use of a sexual “thrust count”.) However, among the telling and expectedly disgruntled interviews with a number of concerned writers and affected directors, filmmaker Kirby Dick along with a colorfully intrepid private investigator Becky Altringer uncover some positively revelatory abuses by this most pious of motion picture institutions including the industry collusion of having major theater chain and studio personnel comprising their Appeals Board, the mysterious internal status of Church officials, and a disturbing and tangible strain of both misogyny and homophobia in the ratings process.
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