Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore has slammed the American censors' decision to give his acclaimed documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11 a R rating.

The Bowling For Columbine director is now locked in a bitter war of words with the MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (MPAA) who deem the film - which won the Cannes Film Festival's prestigious PALME D'OR prize this year (04) - unsuitable for under 17s to view alone.

The MPAA cite the "violent and disturbing images" contained in the film, as well as instances of bad language for their decision - but Fahrenheit 9/11's distributor LIONS GATE has blasted the ruling as "totally unjustified".

Moore says, "It is sadly very possible that many 15 and 16-year-olds will be asked and recruited to serve in Iraq in the next couple of years.

"If they are old enough to be recruited and capable of being in combat and risking their lives, they certainly deserve the right to see what is going on in Iraq."

Lions Gate and their fellow distributor IFC ENTERTAINMENT have vowed to overturn the ruling.

IFC spokesperson JONATHAN SEHRING fumes, "IFC has great concern with this decision and will do everything within its power to fight this unjust rating judgment."

14/06/2004 17:21