The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) must administer a “thorough” review of the Spanish-produced animated film, Elcano and Magellan: The First Voyage Around The World, a lawmaker urged in a statement on Friday.
Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun asked for a ban or removal of certain scenes in the film, if warranted, to “prevent a possible bastardization of the memory and heroic legacy of Lapu-Lapu and his people who first resisted Spanish rule in the Philippines.”
Upon the release of the film’s promotion materials, it was heavily criticized by several Filipino netizens for alleged historical inaccuracies. These included the depictions of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who led the Spanish expedition to circumnavigate the world, and the Visayan hero Lapu-Lapu, known as the first Filipino to defy foreign colonizers in the Battle of Mactan in 1521.
“There are apprehensions that our cherished hero Lapu-Lapu might be depicted as a villain in this movie and we, as Filipinos, cannot allow such a lie to be propagated right on our very own soil,” Fortun said.
“What can make matters even worse is that the movie caters primarily to young audiences, especially, children,” he added.
In a Facebook comment, the congressman further said that a thorough and well-informed review is imperative to avoid a similar experience with the recently-shown film Abominable. It was rated G or suitable for all audiences “only to be pulled out after its attention was called on a scene that highlighted a map featuring China’s unilaterally claimed 9-dash line.”
Fortun also asked for Philippine history experts to review the film.
Earlier, MTRCB chairman Rachel Arenas said that only two trailers have been approved for release, while the film has not been submitted for review yet.
“The film hasn’t been submitted for review and classification therefore we cannot make any comments yet until we see the film in its entirety,” she said.