Saturday, September 30, 2006

movie ratings

I came across this article on the new movie “Facing the Giants”:

The Motion Picture Association of America is crystal clear when it describes why its "PG" rating exists -- it's a warning flag.

"The theme of a PG-rated film may itself call for parental guidance," the online explanation of the rating system states. "There may be some profanity in these films. There may be some violence or brief nudity. ... The PG rating, suggesting parental guidance, is thus an alert for examination of a film by parents before deciding on its viewing by their children. Obviously such a line is difficult to draw."

Disagreements are a given. The Christian moviemakers behind a low-budget film called "Facing the Giants" were stunned when the MPAA pinned a PG rating on their gentle movie about a burned-out, depressed football coach whose life -- on and off the field -- takes a miraculous turn for the better.

"What the MPAA said is that the movie contained strong 'thematic elements' that might disturb some parents," said Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films, which is owned by Sony Pictures. Provident plans to open the film next fall in 380 theaters nationwide with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which has worked with indie movies like "The Squid and the Whale."

Which "thematic elements" earned this squeaky-clean movie its PG?

"Facing the Giants" is too evangelistic.

The MPAA, Fuhr noted, tends to offer cryptic explanations for its ratings. In this case, she was told that it "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It's important that they used the word 'proselytizing' when they talked about giving this movie a PG. ...

"It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about."


One thought that comes to my mind: How many movies for children have we watched that contained no such rating warnings? We have seen many movies that taught about witchcraft or nature worship or athiestic humanism/evolution... and these movies were not considered dangerous by the ratings board. Or maybe I'm missing something.

I'm not opposed to there being some disclaimer that admits a film-maker's bias. It's just that we are subjected to anti-Christian bias all the time. It often seems that everything is acceptable...everything except that which brings honor to the name of Jesus.