Friday, May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci choked

So, the Manila city council has passed a resolution banning "The Da Vinci Code" in all cinemas in the city because the movie “is undoubtedly offensive and contrary to established religious beliefs which cannot take precedence over the right of the persons involved in the film to freedom of expression.”

In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, Manila vice mayor Danilo Lacuna said that people need to understand that the film is a work of fiction. Well, last time I checked, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code was on New York Times' fiction bestsellers list, so there's no dispute about this. If the producers of the movie made the claim that it is "based on a true story", I'd be concern. But it's not. Even documentaries shown on National Geographic aren't necessarily less misleading.

Why all the fuss then?

Furthermore, banning the movie in Manila serves no real purpose. It will only inconvenience moviegoers who can always hop over to neighbouring cities to watch the controversial film.

And Tom Hanks, the leading actor in "The Da Vinci Code", defended the movie against its critics: "This is not a documentary. This is not something that is pulled up and says 'These are the facts and this is exactly what happened.' ... People who think things are true might be more dangerous than people who ponder the possibilities that maybe they are and maybe they aren't."

7 comments:

Juha said...

Interestingly enough, the film has made surreptitiously religious people in NZ come out of the woodwork and voice their disapproval. Some work in media and write bad reviews of the book and film...

No of course Manilla shouldn't have banned the film. How ridiculous, especially when you consider what's available in the nightmarkets there.

GCP said...

If this film was about conspiracy in another semitic faith, there probably be a global outcry and riots. Just because the Christian faith is more tolerant doesn't mean people should go around exploiting it for monetary gains. And the last time I checked, most Philipinos or most of the other countries DON'T read the New York Times so the little factoid of the fiction list is irrelevant. If half the world is as well read or as knowledgeable as the blogger, we won't have half the wars or exploitations we have today but that is not the case, so those in power (knowledge in this case) must act with responsibility. So bravo to the mayor for acting to prevent the exploitation of someone's faith for monetary gains and acting with responsibility.

ignorance is bliss? said...

To be fair, while the blogger's citing of the New York Times bestsellers list may sound elitist, it's not like the bestsellers list is an unique phenomenon. Dan Brown's book is also on the bestsellers lists of local bookstores in the Philippines. Check this out: http://www.nationalbookstore.com.ph/bestsellers.asp.

Hence, I don't think your argument holds water. Can anybody actually say that people in metropolitan cities like Manila are not well read or knowledgeable? I don't think so. And if they're smart enough to go to the cinemas (and choose this film to watch), they should know better.

Going by your reasoning, I think the movie should instead be banned in the provinces and rural areas where people are less educated and may not be able to separate fact from fiction.

Juha said...

And now Samoa has banned it too...

mda said...

maybe sinkapoor should ban this too, like they always do.

Anonymous said...

It's just a movie, for heaven's sake! Aren't you guys over reacting?

gcp said...

if u have been to Manila, u would know that a large percent of those in city live in slums. Many of those drift in from the rural areas in search of jobs and are not well educated or well read. There will be skyscrappers and there will be slums right next to it. The question is the ratio of both. This is a real phenomenon of any emerging economy. Check out the URL. http://www.inmovers.com/cities/Manila.jpg

re anonymous comment, I remember a cartoon script causing riots so a couple of blogs is not over reacting lah. Especially when in sinkapoor, they pasted the graven image of Jesus on the floor of the MRT walkway to be trampled by commuters in support of the show. I wonder what's anonymous feelings are to have his/her religous pictures pasted on the same walkway.

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