Harvey Weinstein, a veteran of many film-ratings battles, is launching a new campaign to get a less-stringent classification for the upcoming documentary "The Tillman Story."
Amir Bar Lev's film about how professional football player Pat Tillman's family fought to uncover the truth about his death from friendly fire in Afghanistan was rated R for its "excessive language," which puts it off limits to anyone under 17 unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
With the film set for an Aug. 20 release through the Weinstein Co., Bar Lev and producer John Battsek will appear before the Motion Picture Association of America's Classification & Rating Administration board in Los Angeles on Thursday to plead their case.
"Of course there is excessive language," Battsek said. "This is a film that follows a truly exemplary family torn apart by the death of their loved one and the barrage of government deceit they encountered in their pursuit of the honest truth. We should be looking at this film as a way to show our younger generation the power of true family values and the sometimes unfortunate failings of our government."
Bar Lev added, "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."
Added Weinstein, "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."