After bagging her first international award in Japan, Iza Calzado returned to the Philippines confronted by the news that her film Bliss received an X rating from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Iza confessed that she was deeply dismayed by the decision which prohibits the screening of her movie in local theaters.
“I understand where they are coming from because there is nudity, there is violence, there is blood, there is cursing, there is all of that. However, I just have a few questions. How come a foreign film is allowed to be shown here, perhaps not the exact same components pero let's say Fifty Shades of Grey? I saw that here. Why was it shown? It only tackles love and S&M. Our film, I would like to think, tackles more than that,” she stated at the media conference of the prime time soap A Love To Last.
Iza pointed out that Bliss discusses the issue of abuse and it is supposed to spark awareness of what people go through in the cycle of exploitation. “These images that we will show you, they are not intended to arouse you. They are intended to disturb you and question things. It’s supposed to make you think,” she stressed.
She also raised questions on why the movie did not even merit an R-18 rating saying, “Kasi iniisip ko pag-X agad are you saying our Filipino 18 year olds will go to the cinema and will not be able to comprehend that this is not something I should do? Have you not educated them enough to think this way as an 18-year-old, who is a responsible adult? So that’s just my take on it.”
The actress asserted that she is open to dialogue with the MTRCB in order to fully comprehend the grounds on which the decision was made. She relayed she will discuss the matter with the board on Tuesday together with the movie’s director Jerrold Tarog. “Perhaps we can meet in the middle or if not somewhere there. I mean, let’s not say naman na X agad and this film cannot be shown. We would like for our film to be shown. It deserves to be shown.”
Will they consider cutting some scenes in order for the movie to get an R-18? “Si Jerrold na lang siguro ang kausapin don. It is not up to me. Siyempre we would like to show the film in its integral form,” she replied.
Despite the controversy, Iza remarked that she does not regret doing the film. “This one really pushed me to give my best. I’ve done a lot of other films that help me grow as an actress and this is definitely one of them,” she affirmed.