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Beastie Boys – Yauch Campaigns To Have A Film Unfinished Re-Rated

Adam Yauch best know as one of the “Beastie Boys” and founder of Oscilloscope Laboratories is up in arms with the MPAA’s decision to hand down a “R rating” for the Holocaust documentary A Film Unfinished, due to it’s disturbing images of holocaust atrocities including graphic nudity. He has responded in saying, “This is too important of a historical document to ban from classrooms.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 giving 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.”

Yael Hersonski’s haunting visual indictment deconstructs the now-infamous unfinished Nazi propaganda film about Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto. Discovered years after the war, without a soundtrack, the film has become a resource for historians and documentary filmmakers studying the Holocaust. Ironically, the film is entirely a Nazi fabrication of ghetto life: well-dressed Jews smile as they walk indifferently past the dead bodies of compatriots on the street. So wherein lies the truth?

Hersonski screens each of the four reels for survivors who were in the ghetto at the time, scrutinizing each skewed or horrific scene as they recall actual events. These remembrances are layered with powerful testimonials from the original SS cameraman and a guilt-ridden Jewish commander who reveal the manipulations behind each deception.

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The film had its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where it won the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award, and it has also picked up honors at Hot Docs Film Festival.

The film is being re-submitted on Friday to the MPAA and Yauch and co. are hoping the film will receive a more friendly rating.