MPAA Censors Gitmo

The Road to Guantanamo movie poster

The Road to Guantanamo banned movie poster

The Road to Guantanamo banned movie poster

The Washington Post reports that The Road to Guantanamo movie poster (for the new documentary film about the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison) has been rejected by the MPAA:

The image that ran afoul of the MPAA is tame by the standards set by the amateur photographers of Abu Ghraib. It shows a man hanging by his handcuffed wrists, with a burlap sack over his head and a blindfold tied around the hood. It appeared in advertisements for the new film “The Road to Guantanamo,” a documentary with some reenacted scenes, that follows the fate of three British men imprisoned at Guantanamo for more than two years before being released with no charges ever filed against them.

What’s with all the banned film advertising lately? As we have mentioned before, the MPAA approves all print advertising material related to any film that carries an MPAA issued rating. Like most forms of regulation and censorship, the guidelines the MPAA follows are not always clear, but big no-nos for one-sheets include “depictions of violence, blood, people in jeopardy, drugs, nudity, profanity, people in frightening situations, disturbing or frightening scenes.” We’re pretty sure that the actual Gitmo doesn’t follow those same guidelines, however.

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  1. The ColonelMay 18, 2006 at 7:13 AMReply

    Maybe it was rejected because, oh I don’t know, the claims of torture aren’t true. Newsweek had to recant a story about the Koran being flushed down a toilet and, as far as I’m concerned, what happended at Abu Ghraib was fraternity hazing compared to what the radical Islamists do to their captives. You seem awfully quick to defend this poster. Would you defend my right to make a poster using a cartoon of Mohammad? How about the decapitation of Daniel Pearl?

  2. adminMay 18, 2006 at 9:12 AMReply

    I wasn’t necessarily “quick to defend” the Gitmo poster, I just think it’s interesting that the MPAA rejected it when (as some in the article point out) the image in question is no more graphic than so many horror film posters that do get approved.

    As for the “claims of torture” depicted in the documentary not being true, I can’t really comment with regards to the film since I haven’t seen it.

  3. *** DaveMay 19, 2006 at 10:21 AMReply

    I don’t think the MPAA’s guidelines do or ought to have anything to do with whether it’s a “true” scene or not. As noted, the picture above is no more (and, in some ways, less) disturbing than posters for any number of horror films (or Michael Moore documentaries).

  4. BeckyMay 22, 2006 at 1:50 PMReply

    It’s not censorship when it’s carried out by a non-governmental organization.

  5. Kevin CannonMay 31, 2006 at 11:06 AMReply

    Becky, there’s nothing about censorship that says it can only be done by governments.

  6. Movie Poster of the Year « « the movie poster weblogJanuary 2, 2007 at 6:09 PMReply

    […] There were a few notable pieces of film poster key art from 2006. The “cut-out” teaser campaign for the movie Brick was interesting. A star sell here and there. The continued glut of animated films (and their posters). The “What can we get away with?” gore of modern horror posters. There were plenty of movie poster controversies, both real and fake. […]

  7. Hadley RilleDecember 21, 2007 at 11:43 PMReply

    “Becky, there’s nothing about censorship that says it can only be done by governments.”

    Nothing except for the actual definition an etymology of the word.

    If the film’s producers object to MPAA rules they can decline having an MPAA rating on their film. Abiding by MPAA’s poster requirements is a voluntary act and as such can hardly be considered censorship.

  8. Movie Poster of the Year « « the movie poster weblogJune 2, 2008 at 11:53 AMReply

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