New York, NY (August 2, 2010) – Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today it would appeal the MPAA’s decision to rate the Holocaust documentary A FILM UNFINISHED “R” for “disturbing images of holocaust atrocities including graphic nudity.”
The film, which will be released August 18th in New York and August 20th in Los Angeles followed by a national rollout, documents an unfinished Nazi propaganda film shot in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. (The Warsaw Ghetto, part of the Third Reich’s Final Solution, was the largest and most notorious of the unlivable urban ghettos and a last transit point before deportation to the extermination camps.) Discovered in East German archives after World War II and labeled simply “Ghetto,” the footage quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record of the Warsaw Ghetto. However, the later discovery of long-missing film reel complicated earlier readings of the footage and revealed many of the shots to be staged. A FILM UNFINISHED presents the raw footage in its entirety, carefully noting fictionalized sequences (including a staged dinner party) falsely showing “the good life” enjoyed by Jewish urbanites and probes deep into the making of a now-infamous Nazi propaganda film.
A FILM UNFINISHED had its U.S. Premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival where it won the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award, and has gone on to win the top award at Hot Docs Film Festival and the WGA Screenplay Award at AFI’s Silverdocs Film Festival.
An “R” rating from the MPAA restricts access to the film to audiences under the age of 17 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian and will affect the film’s ability to be shown in educational venues.
Adam Yauch says, “This is too important of a historical document to ban from classrooms. While there’s no doubt that Holocaust atrocities are displayed, if teachers feel their students are ready to understand what happened, it’s essential that young people are given the opportunity to see this film. Why deny them the chance to learn about this critical part of our human history? I understand that the MPAA wants to protect children’s eyes from things that are too overwhelming, but they’ve really gone too far this time. It’s bullshit.”
Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor says, “The further away we get from the years of Holocaust the more necessary it is that our current and future generations understand it. What a shame for today’s teenagers who study world history to be denied viewing A Film Unfinished and seeing first hand the Nazi treatment of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. It’s depiction of the lengths to which the Nazis would go to dehumanize Jews is an important teaching tool, not only for its historic content, but for its relevance to today’s world.”
Oscilloscope has set the appeal with the MPAA for Thursday, August 5th.
More information about the film can be found at www.afilmunfinished.com