In 2010, Director Adolf Alix submitted his film Chassis to the MTRCB for review. He got an X rating. After an appeal for re-evaluation, he got another X.
A film has two chances for review according to MTRCB rules. If it strikes out in the second review, the film has the option of going to the Palace for a third review where an appeals committee under the Office of the President then reviews the film. Although the Palace committee has voted to rate Chassis R18 instead of X, the President has banned the film from public screening.
Chassis tells the story of Nora (Jodi Sta. Maria), a prostitue who lives with her child under the chassis of a delivery truck.The scene that’s causing all the brouhaha is [SPOILER] a graphic castration at film’s climax where Nora takes revenge [END SPOILER].
Alix can appeal for a second review. If he gets banned again, he takes his case to the Supreme Court.
The piece and video by Patricia Evangelista document an often under-looked aspect of the film making process, which, for the most part, is usually underestimated until something like this happen. We’ve all made fun of the MTRCB’s review write-ups displayed outside the cinema and have usually stereotyped its members; so it’s an interesting look at the whole process.
It’s also another reminder about how un-glamorous the filmmaking process can be in light of recent events.