April 03, 2001 05:10am
Philippines Bans Controversial 'Live Show' Film
(MANILA) -- A review board banned on Tuesday a Philippines' film hailed by some as a social commentary on poverty but dubbed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as soft pornography.
Arroyo, who said the movie ``Live Show'' was a ``soft core pornographic film'', banned the film on March 21 from being shown in local cinemas.
Filipino actress Claudia Koronel, who stars in the film, is seen during a protest rally near the presidential palace in Manila, March 26.
On Tuesday, an appeals panel of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board ordered the revocation of the permit it had issued for the public exhibition of the movie, the presidential palace said.
The film hit controversy for showing people performing sexual acts before an audience as a way to escape poverty.
``Live Show'' had run in local cinemas for two weeks before the ban and was hailed as a social commentary on poverty by some of the country's reputable directors, actors and artists. Local newspapers have said Arroyo was under pressure from the Manila Archbishop Jaime Sin, the top prelate in this largely Roman Catholic country, to ban the film.
But Arroyo has said she banned the film after receiving a barrage of calls from civic groups, concerned parents and religious leaders.
The government's top film censor Nicanor Tiongson quit his post after Arroyo's March 21 order to stop showing the film.
Tiongson said Sin had pressured him to recall the movie and resign from his post. Sin has made no secret to his opposition to ``Live Show.''