Oscilloscope Laboratories will appeal on August 5 against the MPAA’s decision to give an R rating to the Holocaust documentary A Film Unfinished for “disturbing images of Holocaust atrocities including graphic nudity.”

The film, which will be released August 18 in New York and August 20 in Los Angeles followed by a national rollout, documents an unfinished Nazi propaganda film shot in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. 

Sources at the distributor said the certification would bar access to audiences under the age of 17 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian and would affect the film’s ability to be shown in educational venues.

“This is too important of a historical document to ban from classrooms,” O-Scope founder Adam Yauch said. “While there’s no doubt that Holocaust atrocities are displayed, if teachers feel their students are ready to understand what happened, it’s essential that young people are givien the opportunity to see this film.

“Why deny them the chance to learn about this critical part of our human history? I understand that the MPAA wants to protect children’s eyes from things that are too overwhelming, but they’ve really gone too far this time. It’s bullshit.” 

“The further away we get from the years of Holocaust the more necessary it is that our current and future generations understand it,” Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, said. “What a shame for today’s teenagers who study world history to be denied viewing A Film Unfinished and seeing first-hand the Nazi treatment of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.”

A Film Unfinished had its US premiere at Sundance where it won the World Cinema Documentary editing award.