The movie Aurora is creating buzz because of the fact that it has been giving an X-rating twice by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). It was shown last night at the University of the Philippines Cine Adarna (where MTRCB ratings do not apply).
In the said indie film, Rosanna Roces plays a woman working for a medical mission of an NGO. She tries desperately to escape her captors who are members of the Lost Command. She is closely guarded by two Muslims (portrayed by Sid Lucero and Kristoffer King). In the forest, she is raped by Kristoffer while Sid does nothing to stop his comrade.
Director Adolfo Alix Jr. explains to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that the Lost Command is a renegade group that operates outside of the law. "Para siyang renegade, breakaway group sila. Normally, breakaway group sila ng military or members sila ng outlaws. Renegade sila na either for or against the government."
He then narrated how he got the idea to create Aurora.
"Yung concept nito, last year pa. Naghahanap kami ng magandang material for
Rosanna kasi ang gusto ko, nuances lang ng mukha yung makita."
This film, which is written, produced and directed by Adolf, earned an X rating because the members of the review committee found the rape scene between Rosanna and Kristoffer "too explicit" and "unfit for public viewing." They were referring to the scene wherein Kristoffer kept on mashing the left breast of Rosanna as he raped her.
Adolf recalls, "Sabi nila [MTRCB] iklian yung eksena. Gusto nilang iklian pero ang weird kasi 27 seconds lang siya, e. So paano ko siya iiklian? Pag hawak na ganon, stop na. 10 seconds na yung paghawak, di ba?"
The director, who admits that he is a big fan of Osang, says that he did not include the rape scene to titillate the viewers. "Noong 1997, may mga nagawa na si Osang...kumbaga wala na yan [rape scene in Aurora]. Aminin natin, nung 1997 mas dapat [bigyan ng X rating]...Kasi ‘pag double X ang film, iniisip mo baka may penetration pero wala naman. Parang may double standard in a way because may mga pelikulang pinalalabas na lahat-lahat, nakita mo na lahat pero approved without cuts."
Aside from the controversial rape scene, the movie also shows the characters of Sid and Kristoffer smoking marijuana.
TWO SIDES OF MUSLIMS. Is he afraid of being criticized for placing Muslims in a negative light through his film?
"Hindi, kasi pinakita ko yung dalawang side of it. Yung isa [Sid], trabaho lang talaga na bantayan yung bihag, ibalik, may perang kapalit. Kelangan kasi niya ng pera di ba? Yun Yung isa naman [Krisoffer], iba yung intention n'ya e. So parang buhay, may bad saka good characters. Kasi ang pelikula hindi naman pwedeng di ba lahat tayo mabait. Yun lang yung sinasabi ko. Hindi ko sinasabi na masama silang tao. Kasi ako may mga kaibigan din ako na mga Muslim."
He later adds: "Hindi ako natatakot kasi pag pinanood nila, makikita nila yung choice. Pwede kasing makipag-sex si Sid sa kanya pero hindi niya ginawa. Makikita mo rin na dehumanize yung character ni Aurora."
In fact, Adolf even asked help from his crew members who were Muslims to help him with the Arabic dialogues in the film.
In conclusion, the prolific director explains why he chose Aurora as the title of the film. "Kaya Aurora talaga yung title kasi in between night and day, may streak of light na may pagitan. Minsan nagkakaroon ng aurora borealis sa ibang lugar na may iba-ibang kulay. May liwanag dun sa pagitan ng night and day. Parang ito na po yung chance niya na lumabas."
According to www.answers.com, aurora borealis (also called the northern lights) are colored and white flashing lights in the atmosphere that are caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with the upper atmosphere. It is interesting to note that the name Aurora also means "the first light of day."
The film Aurora is being reviewed by the Office of the President, which has the authority to overturn the MTRCB's classification.