‘Metamorphosis’ almost gets an X rating from MTRCB, but has been reclassified
From an X rating, MTRCB has reclassified the film to R-16, with no cuts to the original
Nov 7, 2019
The 15th Cinema One Originals festival opens tonight, Nov. 7, but in its wake comes some distressing news: “Metamorphosis,” which tells of the journey to identity of an intersex person—a story rarely told in mainstream platforms—was given an X rating by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) last Nov. 6.
An X rating is given to films deemed unsuitable for public exhibition. According to reports, the MTRCB gave “Metamorphosis” an X rating due to the “sexually explicit scenes” it contains.
In a Twitter thread, “Metamorphosis” director J.E. Tiglao defends his film, saying “the daring scenes aim to humanize the character who is an intersex. Intersex people are victims of stigma and misconceptions due to their unconventional anatomy. They were called ‘freaks’ and ‘abnormal.’”
JUST IN: Our film 𝕞𝕖𝕥𝕒𝕞𝕠𝕣𝕡𝕙𝕠𝕤𝕚𝕤 was NOT approved by MTRCB for public viewing. Hindi R-16 or R-18 man lang. Sabi nila “not suitable for public exhibition” daw dahil sa ilang maseselang eksena. #LabanMeta #MetaFilm
— Jose Enrique 🐣 J.E. (@jose_enrq) November 6, 2019
“Ang mga eksenang ito ay hindi lamang purong kalibugan. Ito ay pagpapakita ng kanilang pagkatao, ng kanilang sexual desires, ng kanilang pagkalito at pagkabigo—mga bagay na pinagdadaanan nating LAHAT, intersex man o hindi.”
Tiglao adds that they will try to re-edit the film “to lessen the daring scenes,” but not to the point of rendering the film’s message moot.
Lalake ka o babae? O both? O kelangan ba talagang pumili?
— Jose Enrique 🐣 J.E. (@jose_enrq) October 26, 2019
Overnight, netizens have expressed support for the director and the film, as seen in replies to Tiglao’s original thread and under the hashtag #LabanMeta. Individuals have also expressed interest in private screenings for the film’s original cut.
Many have also aired concerns over MTRCB’s rating system, citing how there are other films with more sensual or controversial content that get the green light for public viewing without cuts.
It’s frustrating to think that this kind of censorship is still happening—now, even though Philippine cinema is already celebrating its centennial. You’d think we’d have become more open, at least, with allowing unconventional narratives to be told. But with the recent decision of MTRCB, it seems we’re still stuck, somewhere.
Last year, the MTRCB also blocked another independent film (“Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap”) from getting nationwide screening slots because of the connotations of the film’s title. [READ: The fate of ‘Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap’ defines how local art gets literally hostaged via SCOUT]
The team behind “Metamorphosis” will be appealing for the film’s rating today.
Cinema One Originals 2019 opens tonight.
UPDATE, Nov. 7: MTRCB has just reclassified the film to R-16. According to Tiglao, “NOTHING has been compromised—no shots or scenes have been cut.”
Nagtagumpay tayong palayain ang paruparo! From X rating to R-16 (16yo above are allowed to watch the film)! And we promise you that NOTHING has been compromised– no shots or scenes have been cut. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng nag-ingay at narinig nila tayo! #LabanMeta #MetaFilm pic.twitter.com/6FPAGwEctk
— Jose Enrique 🐣 J.E. (@jose_enrq) November 7, 2019
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