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Remember martial law and other life-changing events

It’s an occasion to watch an intriguing lineup of films: five documentaries — one on ideological conflict, two on the drug war, and two about a former first lady; a novel-inspired movie about the martial law years; a 2017 Cinemalaya Best Film about an aspiring rapper interacting with an activist poet; and a 2018 film about college students interviewing a former soldier a history class on martial law.

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‘Respeto.’

September is remembered as the month martial law was declared. It’s also time for the annual International Human Rights Festival that celebrates rights, freedoms and dignity.

It’s an occasion to watch an intriguing lineup of films:

Five documentaries — one on ideological conflict, two on the drug war, and two about a former first lady; a
novel-inspired movie about the martial law years; a 2017 Cinemalaya Best Film about an aspiring rapper interacting with an activist poet; and a 2018 film about college students interviewing a former soldier for a history class on martial law.

One is streaming for free while the rest are available for a minimal fee — for a limited time. Catch them quick.

‘A Rustling of Leaves’
A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution chronicles the three points of a political triangle: the legal left, the illegal (armed) revolution and the enemy which threatens them both: The armed reactionary right. It is 1987. The dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos has just been overthrown. Newly elected President Corazon Aquino struggles to wrench control of the country from her own military (www.canadawildproductions.com/film/a-rustling-of-leaves).

photographs courtesy of candawildproductions.com, iwanttfc, activevista.ph and culturalcenter.gov.ph

‘A Rustling of Leaves.’

‘Dekada ’70’
Based on Lualhati Bautista’s novel of the same name, Dekada ’70 is a 2002 movie directed by Chito S. Roño about the Bartolome family and their travails during martial law.

Amanda (Vilma Santos), is married to Julian (Christopher De Leon). They have five sons — activist Jules (Piolo Pascual), writer Emmanuel (Marvin Agustin), US Navy personnel Isagani (Carlos Agassi), martial law victim Jason (Danilo Barrios) and the youngest, Benjamin (John Wayne Sace).

Dekada ’70 is on iWantTFC.

‘Dekada ’70.’

‘Respeto’
The 2017 Cinemalaya Best Film directed by Treb Monteras, Respeto is about aspiring rapper Hendrix (Abra) who meets activist poet Doc (Dido de la Paz) while navigating a life of rap, poetry and drama.

Available until 10 October on the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival website (www.activevista.ph/screenings).

‘ML’
ML, directed by Benedict Mique, is about college students Carlo (Tony Labrusca), Pat (Lianne Valentin) and Jace (Henz Villaraiz) interviewing a former soldier, “Colonel” (Eddie Garcia) for a history class discussion on martial law.

Available until 10 October 10 on the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival website (www.activevista.ph/screenings).

‘Aswang’
Aswang is a documentary on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. Directed by Alyx Ayn Carumpac, it bagged the International Film Critics’ FIPRESCI award in Amsterdam in 2019.

Available until 10 October 10 on the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival website (www.activevista.ph/screenings).

‘Imelda’
Imelda is a 2003 documentary by Ramona Diaz that explores the complex persona of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, her rise to power and fall from grace
Streaming for free until 30 September (culturalcenter.gov.ph/events/broadcast-film/ccp-arthouse
-cinema-never-again/details).

‘The Kingmaker’
The 2019 film directed by Lauren Greenfield explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime and chronicles Imelda’s push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice-presidency. To this end, Imelda confidently rewrites her family’s history of corruption, replacing it with a narrative of a matriarch’s extravagant love for her country. In an age when fake news manipulates elections, Imelda’s comeback story serves as a dark fairy tale.

‘The Kingmaker.’

Available until 10 October 10 on the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival website (www.activevista.ph/screenings).

‘Tao Po’
From several immersion trips and in-depth interviews conducted by performance artist-activist Mae Paner and playwright Maynard Manansala emerge four characters, four monologues that each give a human face to the issue of extrajudicial killings.

‘Tao Po.’

Available until 10 October 10 on the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival website (www.activevista.ph/screenings).

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