“Ang Guro Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa,” a Cinemalaya 2017 official entry, will be commercially released. The film had to go through a few alterations, however, over supposedly “violent scenes” not suited for a general audience.
Initially given an X rating, the movie’s classification was eventually brought to a PG-13.
“At first, medyo unfair po talaga sa damdamin,” Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, who’s the lead star in the film said at the film’s press launch on Wednesday. “Sama-sama po kami dito. Pinaghirapan po talaga namin ‘yung film, lalo na adbokasiya. Halos lahat po kami nagsaripisyo do to this independent film for Cinemalaya. Tapos nagkaroon nga kami ng date ng commercial release – only to hear the bad news na na-X nga daw po.
“But to be fair naman to MTRCB, binigyan naman po nila kami ng guidelines bakit ganoon,” he added. “In-address po ni Direk isa-isa ‘yun without sacrificing the artistic value of the film. Kaya ngayon naging PG-13 ang saya saya po namin.”
Films are first reviewed by the Movie and Television Classification Board (MTRCB) before they are set for public viewing to ensure that the general public will be protected from the “inappropriate messages” carried out by such supposedly suggestive films.
PG-13 films do not allow audiences aged 13 years old and below to see the movie, while movies given an X rating are not allowed for public viewing at all.
Film director Perry Escaño assured, however, that the core story of the film was still intact and only very minimal alterations were made.
Inspired by true events, the film talks about the recruitment of innocent children to become full-pledged members of separatist groups.
According to the production team’s research, children are being trained to use guns like skilled warriors and are being put at the front lines during combat. Instead of carrying books and going to school, children are being educated with violence and terrorism.
Because of this pressing problem, Aaquil, a farmer played by Vargas, assumes the work of an educator and teaches children how to read and write despite being an illiterate himself.
The film is also set to be screened in schools to further educate kids with the pressing reality that children are being used in wars.
Among the cast members are Mon Confiado, Lou Veloso, James Blanco, Kiko Matos, Loren Burgos, Garie Concepcion, Alvin Barcelona, Paul Sy, Lianne Valentin. and Lorraine Salvador.
Also, part of their main cast are three awarded child actors – Miggs Cuaderno, Marc Justine Alvarez and Micko Laurente.
“Ang Guro Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa” hits cinemas starting Dec. 6. /atm
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