May 6, 2022
In this edition, we showcase a rare collection of films highlighting collective political filmmaking during the early to mid-1980’s in the Philippines. We also feature videos about food security, data justice, digital security, and exercises in democracy.
‘Daluyong: Political Filmmaking in a Period of Social Unrest Redux’ film playlist on Cinemata
EngageMedia, together with film curator and archiving advocate Assistant Professor Rosemarie Roque, showcases a rare collection of films entitled “Daluyong: Political Filmmaking in a Period of Social Unrest Redux”. This film collection documents significant events in the Filipino people’s socio-political history and counters false narratives about the Marcos dictatorship.
The collection focuses on key audiovisual works highlighting collective political filmmaking during the early to mid-1980s. The five featured films capture the experiences, aspirations, and struggles of the Filipino people during the dictatorship’s last years to the early years of the succeeding administration.
These films will be available to watch on Cinemata until May 9.
‘Sabangan’ (Dam), 1983
For the Remontados indigenous community, the construction of the Kaliwa-Kanan Dam does not only mean forcible displacement from their lands – it is also a threat to their lives.
Produced in 1983 and originally shot in Super 8, Sabangan was created as a response to the illusion of prosperity peddled by the Marcoses for the "City of Man" project. The film documents the Remontados' struggles as they face displacement from their ancestral land in Tanay, Rizal.
The documentary is as relevant today as it was then, as the project continues to be pursued by succeeding administrations.
Filmmakers: Federico Espiritu, Jose Cuaresma, Bernadette Libres, Robert Gruta, and Lito Fischer under the production group Cinema Real
‘Arrogance of Power’, 1983
Arrogance of Power shows the fascist might of the Marcos regime and how militarisation and human rights violations were institutionalised in Philippine political life. The film exposes the human rights violations during the Marcos years, unmasking the dictator's claims that there were no political detainees under martial law.
Produced in 1983, the documentary by AsiaVisions (previously named Creative Audio-Visual Specialists or CAVS) was originally made in Super 8, migrated to U-matic, and digitised for access.
‘Daluyong’ (Waves), 1984
Daluyong (Waves) documents the historic “Lakbayan” or “Lakad ng Bayan Para sa Kalayaan” (People’s March for Freedom) held from March 1 to March 7, 1984. The long protest march was a show of Filipinos’ dissatisfaction with the Marcos regime.
Currently, the only available copy of this film (originally shot in Super 8) is in Betamax, digitised for access.
Filmmakers: Jose Luis "Joey" Clemente and Nil Buan
The documentary focuses on the life and struggles of youth-student leader Edgar Jopson, known as Edjop, who was killed by the military in September 1982. The 34-year-old was an intellectual who stood with the masses to pursue social change.
Edjop was produced by the Edgar Jopson Foundation and the media cooperative Alternative Horizons (AlterHorizons).
Originally made in U-matic, the film won first prize in the 1987 Cultural Center of the Philippines Film and Video Festival.
Producer: Edgar Jopson Foundation and Alternative Horizons
‘No Time For Crying’, 1986
Oppression has unlocked the spirit of courageous resistance – peaceful and armed – in the island of Mindanao. Many indigent communities are no longer waiting on the sidelines for change. Instead, they are starting to demand the rights denied to them for so long.
No Time for Crying won First Prize in the Documentary Division of the 1987 Alternative CCP Film & Video Festival.
Originally made in 16mm, the documentary was migrated to U-matic, the only extant copy to date, and digitised for digital preservation and access in 2019.
Director: Lito Tiongson
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