The Weinstein Co announced today that the filmmakers are appealing the “R” ratings which the MPAA just gave The Tillman Story documentary about to be released in theaters August 20th. Of course, far be it from Weinsteins to miss an opportunity to generate controversy and enjoy the ensuing free publicity for their film. (Witness Kevin Smith’s ratings battles on his TWC releases…) But in this case director Amir Bar Lev and producer John Battsek have an excellent argument when the rating will be appealed on August 12th in Los Angeles. According to The Weinstein Co, the MPAA gave the film that “R” rating based on its “excessive language”.
“Of course there is excessive language,” states John Battsek. “This is a film that follows a truly exemplary family torn apart by the death of their loved one and the barrage of government deceit they encountered in their pursuit of the honest truth. We should be looking at this film as a way to show our younger generation the power of true family values and the sometimes unfortunate failings of our government.”
Agreed Bar Lev: “The language in this film is not gratuitous. I think this is how many people would react when faced with the unthinkable. Giving this film an ‘R’ rating prevents young people from seeing this film; the very people who should be exposed to a great American like Pat Tillman.”
“This is one of the most important films I’ve distributed in my career” Harvey Weinstein said in his company’s press release, “and I want my teenage daughter, and the nation’s young adults to be able to watch Pat’s story. We need to learn from this story and limiting who can see it is not the answer.”