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August 12, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

It’s hard enough to attract audiences for documentary films; it’s even harder when a documentary is hit with an R rating. Well aware of that fact, Harvey Weinstein, who has battled the MPAA’s ratings board over its ratings in the past, is launching a new effort to overturn the R rating handed out by the board to Amir Bar Lev’s The Tillman Story, due to open next week. The film looks into the Army’s handling of the friendly fire death of former NFL star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, the military’s handling of the case, and the efforts by Tillman’s family to uncover the true circumstances of his death. The MPAA’s ratings board said that its decision was based on “excessive language.” In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Bar Lev said, “The language in this film is not gratuitous. 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.” Weinstein, whose The Weinstein Co. is distributing the film, added, “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. We need to learn from this story, and limiting who can see it is not the answer.”
Variety has reported that the Weinsteins have lost their appeal to have the R rating overturned.