Palm Pictures is officially protesting the MPAA’s decision to give the film GUNNER PALACE, a documentary about the day to day lives of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, an R rating for “language.”

Says the film’s director, Michael Tucker, who spent two months in Iraq living with the Army’s 2/3 Field Artillery:

“No doubt, there is strong language in the film, but taken in context of the subject, soldiers at war, the language is not gratuitous,” said Michael Tucker. “We may not like or agree with what the soldiers say in this film. Some of us may even find their language offensive. However, their voices deserve to be heard–without restriction–in the country that sent them to war. This is a film about war and the reactions of the young people fighting in it. Those reactions are expressed through the language of the day. To restrict access to the film via an “R” rating is essentially censoring the experience of the American soldier. As Americans, one way we can support the troops is by listening to what they have to say. To do this, to honor and respect their experience and sacrifice, we ask the MPAA to constructively work with us to bring the soldiers story to an audience that will include teens who are mature enough to see this film.”

Take note of the recent outcry over the refusal of dozens of ABC affiliates to run “Saving Private Ryan” last Veterans’ Day for fear of being fined by the FCC in the wake of the Janet Jackson half-time incident. Those fears, both of FCC fines and organized public outcry were unfounded, and many people rushed to the defense of the airing of the film. Including, Senator John McCain, Parents Television Council head Brent Bozell (who initiated the Jackson letter writing campaign) and former MPAA head Jack Valenti who endorsed the airing of the film in a Variety Op-ed entitled Moral values in times of war in which he writes: “Yes, there is some language in the movie that may cause dismay to some. But this is not just another movie. There is something larger here. It cries out to be seen by every young boy and girl in the land…” The language of “Gunner Palace” is not gratuitous, it simply reflects the intensity that the young soldiers in the film are living in.

For more info, visit the “Gunner Palace” website.

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