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Friday, Feb 25, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
by Timothy Noah
Slate (24 February 2011)

“In August 2010, a documentary titled A Film Unfinished was released by Oscilloscope, a New York-based independent distributor. The film’s subject is the making of an unfinished Nazi documentary about the Warsaw ghetto that was intended to spread anti-Semitic propaganda. The director, Yael Hersonski, would like A Film Unfinished to be shown in schools to educate children about the Holocaust. But because the documentary includes some horrific footage of death camp atrocities—some of them showing Jews, both dead and alive, stripped naked—the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings division assigned the documentary an R rating. Oscilloscope appealed the decision, pointing out that a dozen years earlier, Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation had released a Holocaust documentary titled The Last Days that featured similar footage but received a PG-13 rating. It even presented the MPAA with a letter from a Warsaw ghetto survivor who urged that the film be used to educate young people. But the MPAA’s appeals board voted to maintain the R rating, 12-3.”


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