Almost three weeks ago, Jerrold Tarog’s film Bliss has snagged international recognition when its lead, Iza Calzado, won the Yakushi Pearl Award for Best Performer at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in Japan.
It’s going really well for Bliss that a release date has been set for Philippine screenings: May 10, 2017.
And then there’s the rub: The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) slapped it with an X rating.
An X rating means no public exhibition is allowed because of “explicit nudity, excessive violence, and masturbation.” Which means, we can’t see it in the theaters.
Calzado’s manager Noel Ferrer, took his dismay to Instagram, saying, “It will be so unfortunate and such a waste if a film that has earned rave reviews and international honors won’t be allowed to be screened to Filipinos in its integral version. Time to unite dear filmmakers and film audiences. We have to experience ‘Bliss’ in the Philippines.”
While the trailer shows such dark and disturbing depictions, the X rating might be a little sketchy, not to mention devastating to people wanting to see what the positive fuss was about.
On the film’s official Facebook page, the team behind Bliss also noted, “We understand and respect the decision of the MTRCB reviewing committee regarding the film Bliss. We are currently through the process of submitting an appeal for a second review and hope for a more favorable result.”
Bliss, the latest offering from director Jerrold Tarog (the man behind Heneral Luna & I’m Drunk, I Love You), revolves around the repetitive psychological and physical abuse on actress Jane Ciego (Iza Calzado) and her pursuit of a personal dream turning into a waking nightmare.
A thinker of a locally produced movie with astute scenes that’s supposed to leave you woke is apparently too much for local audiences? Granted, they were shown rough cuts from original forms (R-18). Still, don’t we deserve thought provoking films in the mainstream?
It’d be a shame a film of such caliber may not ever grace Philippine cinemas, so we are on board with hoping for a more auspicious outcome.
We’re shaking our damn heads with you, guys.
Watch the official trailer here and shake your heads with us: