Lav Diaz Gives the MTRCB the Finger!

Dino Manrique's picture
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Recently, filmmaker Lav Diaz's film 'Death in the Land of Encantos' suffered the same fate as the Cannes Festival-honored Filipino film 'Serbis' in the hands of the MTRCB -- it was X'd. Many, like filmmaker JP Carpio in his Multiply blog, took the MTRCB to task for the injustice of this act. For my part, I, in my Multiply blog, bewailed its stupidity and called again for the abolition of this irrrelevant and pre-historic agency, an oppressive vestige of the Martial Law era. Imagine the stupidity of censoring a film honored in prestigious film festivals abroad like the Venice Film Festival! While other countries are honoring Diaz with retrospectives, his own countrymen are persecuting him and trying to shut him up.

And the most offensive thing about this whole affair is that the MTRCB didn't even bother to watch the entire movie. They only watched less than thirty minutes of the eight-hour movie, and when the first breasts appeared on screen, they decided that their job was done. Who are these morons passing judgment on these works of art? Do they have an idea of what 'context' means? 

Fortunately, unlike the filmmakers of 'Serbis,' Lav Diaz stood his ground and gave the MTRCB the finger. In an interview, Lav Diaz said: "I don't believe in censorship. The existence of the board of censors is very fascistic. Censorship is poison to the arts. Censorship is poison to culture. Censorship is a very feudal act...I will not change anything [in Encantos]. The real struggle is to make good films for our people."

Now that's the way to slay this monster. Way to go, Lav! An unjust status quo will continue to be foisted on its victims if the victims continue to give in. Luckily for us, Lav Diaz is not a victim. Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino!