The President's Scissors

Edwin Tuyay for TIME.

A scene from the movie "Live Show".

Once a week, the Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo likes to kick back and unwind with a movie. Last Monday, the lights dimmed in the screening room at the MalacaNang Palace, and the diminutive, 53- year-old president settled back uneasily to watch Live Show, a raunchy, local sex film. Rated "R" (18 and above), the film explores the sad and desperate lives of several impoverished boys and girls who put on sex shows. Live Show had generated a Babel of commentary, and the president wanted to judge for herself: was it social realism, or porn?

After the film, Macapagal-Arroyo...

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