Who says you can’t change the rules in midstream?
Not the country’s film and television watchdog that seems to have gone beyond reviewing and classifying small and big-screen fare and crept straight into apparent political censorship.
The detour yesterday was questioned by a lawyer for detained President Joseph Estrada in reaction to a decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban the airing of a video documentary on the profes-sional and political history of the ousted Chief Executive after its initial review last week and giving the video a triple X rating based on its content allegedly biased against President Arroyo.
Former Immigration Com-missioner Rufus Rodriguez said the MTRCB’s decision against the airing of the video “To Live for the Masses” was patently unfair and was a violation of the board’s mandate.
“The video deals exclusively with the life and times of President Estrada and is based on facts and actual events,” Rodriguez pointed out.
“In fact, it can be clearly classified as a newsreel, meaning it is a short motion-picture film dealing with current events. Thus, technically it is not up to the MTRCB to rule on its airing,” the Estrada lawyer said.
The board’s job is to review movie and TV fare for obscenity, blasphemy, profanity, derogation or vulgarity.
The newsreel genre or documentary is beyond these as it is a depiction of actuality and this genre is one of only two exempted from review of any agency, the other being government-produced materials.
Rarely had the MTRCB given even movie and television materials that it considered obscene, blasphemous, profane, derogatory or vulgar an X, double X or triple X rating.
triple xxx means it won't be shown in theaters or other public places except maybe in a place like the UP film center (pwede x-rated doon). and i don't know if it will show up in pirated dvds kung hindi ito papayagan ni Don lito atienza.
Yung reaction ng Arroyo admin sa isang anti-admin docu or movie ay ibang iba sa nakikita natin sa US and other free countries. Sa America, there are quite a few anti-Bush administration movies, tv shows and docus. Even though napaka anti-Bush ng Fahrenheit 911, hindi naman ito pinagbawalan o binigyan ng Triple X rating ng review board doon. Nanalo pa nga si Bush sa 2004 despite Moore's docu being a box office hit.
Everyday on Tv I get to watch the Daily Show with John STewart mock the Bush admin. Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien does that too.
So What the Fuck is this administration afraid of with this Erap documentary? Bakit pinipigilan nila ang pagpapalabas ng mga movies at docus na kontra sa kanila?
More from PDI:
THE documentary film about the life of disgraced leader Joseph "Erap" Estrada has been banned for public viewing after the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) gave it an “X” rating.
MTRCB chairperson Consoliza Laguardia said the film, entitled “Ang Mabuhay para sa Masa” (To Live for the Masses), "may undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or duly constituted authority."
Estrada’s son, Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, rebuked the rating, saying he saw no reason why the censors board should ban the film.
The documentary reportedly tackled issues such as the 728-million-peso fertilizer scam and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's alleged rigging of the 2004 presidential polls.
"I don't think it (X rating) is proper for it only features his (life),” the young Estrada said.
“It is not seditious. What is included in the documentary is the truth," he added, denying that the documentary was a form of a black propaganda against the government. "Our purpose is for people to know the truth, for them to know how he earned his fame.”
But Laguardia in a phone interview told the Inquirer that the documentary was “highly opinionated” in recounting events that occurred after Estrada’s ouster.
Boy, Bush can sure use somebody like Laguardia right now no? With the way the news and talk shows there are undermining the people's faith and confidence in the Bush administration and the Iraq War and all...
And it's not the first time the MTRCB and Laguardia tried to control the media.
More from the Malaya:
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said an X-rating is not limited to materials with extreme violence or explicit sex.
Ermita, a member of the board, said when they crafted the criteria used by the MTRCB in its review and classification functions, they stated that there should be a moral and redeeming value in the theme or story of the submitted material.
He said this lack of "moral and redeeming value" could be one of the factors which the MTRCB considered in giving an X-rating to the documentary.
UPDATE: From the Trib:
The country’s unofficial movie and television censor has pulled a fast one on detained President Joseph Estrada.
The Estrada camp yesterday accused the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of ensuring that it will not find the time to appeal the triple X rating that the MTRCB had given a video documentary on the life and times of the ousted leader – which effectively banned the biography from public showing.
Estrada lawyer and former Immigration Commissioner Rufus Rodriguez questioned the “haste” with which the MTRCB scheduled its second review also yesterday without giving sufficient time for the producers to appeal the denial of their official request that the biography be exempted from review.
From Ali Sotto of Manila Times:
MTRCB’s X-rating of Erap’s bioflick only serves to tweak public interest in what would have been just another pro-Erap video but for the attention it is now getting. It was deemed unsuitable for public viewing because of its anti-GMA slant in the latter part of the film. This administration seems to have a very low-tolerance level for criticism. Ensconced in our comfortable couch, my husband and I get our regular dose of Bush-bashing from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the opening monologues of Jay Leno and David Letterman. The tirade is almost always leveled at his ineptness and lack of verbal skills. More virulently critical is Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 which had a successful commercial run. And so it goes in the Land of the Free.