Actress Iza Calzado has expressed dismay over the decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to bar her film "Bliss" from being shown in the country.
Directed by Jerrold Tarog of "Heneral Luna" fame, "Bliss" is a psychological thriller through the eyes of a jaded actress that tackles the cycle of abuse people go through in their lives. The movie has frontal nudity, violence, and cursing.
The producers of "Bliss" attempted to have it screened locally after the success it had at the 2017 Osaka Asian Film Festival, wherein Calzado was awarded the prestigious Yakushi Pearl Award for her performance. The MTRCB gave it an X-rating.
Calzado and her team were told the film was deemed unfit for theaters as it featured prolonged frontal nudity, excessive violence, and masturbation. It also had "gratuitous" sex scenes, the MTRCB said.
In an interview with reporters on Wednesday in a conference promoting her primetime series "A Love To Last," Calzado appealed to the governing agency to rethink their decision.
She also admitted that she was baffled by it, pointing out that the MTRCB allowed the racy bondage flick "Fifty Shades Darker" to be shown without cuts last month.
"Why was it shown? It tackles only love and S&M. Our film, I would like to think, tackles more than that. It tackles abuse in society, not just in being an artista," she explained.
"It's suppose to wake you up about the cycle of abuse people go through in their lives. So these images that we will show you, they are not intended to arouse you, they are intended to disturb you and question things, make you think."
Calzado added that audiences 18 and up are old enough to decide for themselves. "Have we not educated them enough?" she asked.
Calzado said she is open to having a dialogue with the MTRCB about the decision. She said that producers of "Bliss" are preparing to appeal the ruling.
MTRCB chief Rachel Arenas, in an interview with ABS-CBN News' MJ Felipe, said that they are open to reviewing "Bliss" for a second time should they receive a formal appeal.
The official did add that the opinions of the board members who reviewed the film were "quite strong na it should be an X."