October 28, 2016
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Weinsteins to fight MPAA over “Tillman Story” rating

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev and producer John Battsek will appear before the Motion Picture Association of America’s Classification & Rating Administration board in Los Angeles this morning to argue against the R rating applied to their upcoming documentary, “The Tillman Story.”

Directed by Bar-Lev (“My Kid Could Paint That”) and set to be distributed by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, “Tillman” tells the true story of how professional football player Pat Tillman’s family fought to uncover the truth about the soldier’s death from friendly fire in Afghanistan.

The MPAA rated the picture R for “excessive language,” but the director (and Weinstein) want the rating changed so all audiences can witness the film and judge for themselves.

“This is one of the most important films I’ve distributed in my career, and I want my teenage daughter and the nation’s young adults to be able to watch Pat’s story,” Harvey Weinstein told the Hollywood Reporter. “We need to learn from this story, and limiting who can see it is not the answer.”

“The Tillman Story” will open in limited release on Aug. 20. An R rating could hurt its attendance figures and reduce its chances of generating a strong wave of positive word of mouth.

“The language in this film is not gratuitous,” Bar-Lev said. “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.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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