Miramax Films announced saidyesterday that it would appeal against the MPAA's R rating of John Dahl'supcoming wartime drama The Great Raid.

The MPAA's ratings boardawarded the rating based on "strong war violence and brief language".

Set in the Philippines in1945, The Great Raid recounts theliberation by American soldiers of 500 POWS from the notorious CabanatuanJapanese camp. Benjamin Bratt and James Franco star.

'There have been anumber of war films with comparable levels of violence that were given a PG-13rating including such films as Hotel Rwanda, Master And Commander and Pearl Harbor," said outgoing Miramax co-chairman HarveyWeinstein.

"The violence is not thereto shock the audience, rather, it's to show them an accurate depiction of whathappened, and is by no means excessive.'

"The Great Raid is based on actual historical events and presents athought-provoking and educational portrait of the most dangerous and chaoticwar rescue of all time," states director John Dahl.

"The only way to capitaliseon the historical importance of the film is to make it accessible to youngpeople, which will only be successful if the MPAA allows us to reach them,"Dahl added.

Miramax plans to release thepicture in North America on Aug 12. MPAA spokespeople had not returned calls attime of writing.