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August 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Although the broadcast networks and cable news channels are generally reluctant to provide unaired news footage to official investigators and other authorities, the producers of the documentary about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan were apparently able to get hold of some damning video that one network chose not to run. In an interview with today’s (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times, Amir Bar-Lev, who directed The Tillman Story, which opens in limited release on Friday, lays into members of a Congressional committee that investigated allegations that the military fabricated a fictitious story about the circumstances of Tillman’s death for propaganda purposes. (The military original described how Tillman had died a hero’s death while charging up a hill under enemy fire; he was actually accidentally killed by fellow Rangers.) “I’ll tell you one thing we edited,” Bar-Lev told the Times. “A senator, I have this on tape, comes up to [former Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld before the thing and says, ‘We’re going to be easy on you.’ I literally have that on tape. We got the raw tape from the networks, and they didn’t show any of this.” Bar-Lev remains angry at the decision of the MPAA ratings board to tag the film with an R rating because of “excessive language.” “The idea that … it’s inappropriate for kids to know how soldiers talk when they’re being fired at, or how people talk when they’re grieving, it’s a slap in the face,” he told the Times. Meanwhile, some online commentators and bloggers are urging young people to evade the R-rating enforcers by buying a ticket for a PG movie and sneaking into a theater showing the Tillman film. (As yet, no exhibitor has said publicly that it will not enforce the R rating for the film.)