MANILA, Philippines – Iza Calzado said that she was surprised to hear that the Jerrold Tarog movie she’s starring in, Bliss, was rated X by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
According to a report on ABS-CBN, MTRCB chairperson Rachel Arenas said that two of the baord members gave the film an X rating, while one member gave it an R-18.
In an interview with reporters at the press conference for her show A Love To Last on Wednesday, March 29, Iza initally joked about it.
“Porn star ba ako? Alam ko sabi Best Performer, [pero] hindi naman in that sense (Am I a porn star? I know it was for best performer, but not in that sense),” she said with humor, referring to the Yakushi Pearl Award (Best Performer) she received at the Osaka Film Festival 2017 on March 11.
“I understand where they’re coming from because there is nudity, there is violence, there is blood, there is cursing, there’s all of that,” she said.
But she also questioned why the board would give the movie that rating, while some international films with the same content would get a R-18, comparing Bliss to Fifty Shades of Grey.
“I saw [Fifty Shades of Grey] here. Why was it shown? It tackles only love and S&M (sadomasochism). Our film, I would like to think, tackles more than that, and it tackles abuse in society. Not just being an artista (actor), it’s supposed to wake you up [to] what people go through, the cycle of abuse that people go through in their lives.
“So these images we will show you are not intended to arouse you. They are intended to disturb you and [for you] question things, it’s supposed to make you think. I also wonder, does it not even merit R-18 man lang? Kasi iniisip ko, kung X agad (Because I’m thinking, if you give an X right away), are you saying that our Filipino 18-year-olds will go to the cinema and will not be able to comprehend that this is not something that I should do? Have we not educated them enough to think this way, as an 18-year-old, who is a responsible adult? Iyon lang (That’s all), that’s just my take on it,” she said.
But Iza said that she is very open to a dialogue and discussion about the matter and that she and Jerrold are set to talk to the MTRCB again next week.
“I totally understand where they are coming from,” said Iza. “However, I would like to understand more, and perhaps we can meet in the middle, if not, di ba (right), somewhere there. Let’s not say naman na X agad (that it should be given a X immediately) or this film cannot be shown. We would like our film to be shown and it deserves to be shown. It’s not a feel good film ha… but you’ll leave the theater thinking about things,” she said.
If the MTRCB will reconsider the decision on the condition of cutting out some scenes, Iza said it will all be up to Jerrold.
On the same day, the people behind Bliss released a statement regarding the MTRCB rating.
“We understand and respect the decision of the MTRCB reviewing committee regarding the film Bliss. We are currently going through the process of submitting an appeal for a second review and hope for a more favorable result.”
The trailer for the film was released on Tuesday, March 27.
Bliss, directed by Jerrold Tarog tells the story of Jane, an actress-turned-film producer who gets into an accident. She later begins to hear mysterious sounds, and struggles with people who may want to harm her.
The film also stars Ian Veneracion, TJ Trinidad, and Adrienne Vergara. – Rappler.com
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