Philippine Leader Reinstates ‘Irrevocable’ Ban on Sex Film
Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said Saturday she was definitely banning a sex-oriented movie that angered church leaders despite an earlier statement by her top aide that the film would be reviewed first.
"We can not ... allow films which militate against the values which we cherish to be shown to the public. We cannot just ignore the process of the parents, the clergy and the laity," Arroyo said as she reiterated her decision to ban the film, "Live Show."
"The controversial film is not all about art. Our order withdrawing the film is non-negotiable," Arroyo told journalists even as she insisted she was not against artistic expression.
Announcements earlier this week that the film would be banned triggered a public debate on freedom of expression and the resignation of the country's chief censor.
The ban followed pressure from the powerful Roman Catholic church, which branded the film, a depiction of the lives of young men and women who perform sex onstage at Manila nightclubs, as pornographic.
Artists' groups have defended the movie, which was shown at the Berlin Film Festival last year, saying it was not pornographic but was a frank depiction of the depressing lives of people forced by poverty into the sex trade.
On Friday, Arroyo's chief of staff, Renato Corona said presidential aides would review the movie to reconsider the ban but Arroyo's order apparently reverses this -- AFP
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