Schnabel Taking Miral Fight To Appeals Board

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March 10, 2011 | 7:35am EST

Artist-turned-filmmaker Julian Schnabel is stepping up his fight to secure a rating change for his controversial new movie Miral by taking his case to the Motion Picture Association of America’s appeals board.
The director’s latest offering, which stars Freida Pinto as a conflicted Palestinian girl growing up in Israel, has been granted a restrictive adults-only R rating, which has Schnabel fuming.

This week he spoke out against censors in an essay for The Huffington Post blog, insisting he was shocked and saddened by the decision.

Schnabel has now confirmed he will challenge the rating by taking his complaint to the Motion Picture Association of America’s appeals board in a bid to secure the film a PG-13 rating, which would allow the movie to be screened in schools.

He tells the New York Post’s gossip column Page Six, “Miral is about a young adult, and we made the film specifically for viewers in that age range. That audience includes the author and screenwriter’s 14-year-old daughter, for whom the story is named. It is cruelly ironic that under the MPAA’s ruling, a 16-year-old now cannot go unaccompanied into a neighborhood theater to see the true life story of another 16-year-old, whose non-violent struggle for dignity is a positive example for young people everywhere.”

The story is based on the life of Schnabel’s Palestinian girlfriend, Rula Jebreal, and adapted from her 2004 novel of the same name.