Objections to some nude scenes in film
A.R.G., Kuala Lumpur
DURING the Latin American Film Festival from Oct 20 to 23, movies from Latin American countries were screened at Mid Valley Mega Mall and Pavillion in Kuala Lumpur and 1 Utama in Petaling Jaya.
I watched a Venezuelan movie, Aire Libre (Open Air), rated PG13, at Mid Valley.
What was supposed to be a pleasant Saturday afternoon at the movies turned out to be a disturbing experience.
The movie touched on the adventures of two Europeans, Alexandre Von Humboldt and Aime Bonpland, in the jungles of South America.
The flyers and websites of Golden Screen Cinemas and the 10th Latin American Film Festival described that "this wonderful adventure movie is also a philosophical and ecological story with surrealistic touches, a beautiful story of friendship and brotherhood which transgresses cultural clashes".
The movie started off innocently enough, but soon had me aghast as highly erotic scenes appeared on the screen.
One scene showed Bonpland having sexual intercourse with a woman.
The person manning the projector must have realised the inappropriateness of this and placed his hand over the projector to cover the screen.
But, this still left us with the sounds of lovemaking, moans and sex talk.
The next scene had Von Humboldt and Bonpland skinny dipping in a river. Nothing was left to the imagination as the camera showed full frontal shots of the naked men.
Again, the person placed his hand over the projector.
The adventurers then visited a village in the jungles and the following scenes showed the native people au natural without a stitch on their body.
The camera zoomed in and rested for some time on a bare-chested native girl, who had (surprise) captured the attention of Bonpland.
Now, this is not a documentary showcasing the way of life of native folks. This is a movie where the director, actors and cameramen could make choices in the way it was filmed.
I walked out of the cinema hall, feeling angry, concerned and violated. I was angry because I had never asked to watch such sexually-explicit scenes.
I was concerned about how this movie would impact the youth in the audience. Yes, I know with the advent of the Internet that there are probably not that many stones left unturned by our youngsters.
Nevertheless, there are many of us who want to protect innocent minds and hearts.
I felt violated because sexual intimacy between men and women is a relationship that comprises value, trust and love, and must be shared in privacy.
Men and women have a sense of chastity. It may seem, in these times of permissiveness, that chastity and innocence are lost.
But, it is not so. Just as a nugget of gold that is covered in mire and dirt still remains gold, and all we have to do is to clean the dirt to expose the gold, so are chastity and innocence eternal values.
All we need to do is to remove the mire and the dirt that cloud our sense of chastity, modesty and self-worth.
So, how did the Malaysian Film Censorship Board allow this movie to be screened?
The festival is scheduled to be screened at Golden Screen Cinemas from Thursday to Nov 20. Should I be wary of movies rated PG13?