‘This isn’t a movie anymore’
Over the weekend, I purposely watched lawyer Vince Tañada’s period musical, the drama film “Katips.” For the next 2 hours and 22 minutes, I rode a rollercoaster of emotions. From being entertained and delighted, to reminiscing my “progressive” days via the chanting and idealism of the youth shown in the movie, to cringing and being teary-eyed during the torture scenes of the abducted student activists, and feeling hopeful of a new beginning as the film comes to an end.
And then the reality reminded me that over 31 million voters have put back another Marcos in the highest seat of power in the Philippines. And I realized, this isn’t a movie anymore.
As the credits rolled, there was appreciative applause from the sparse audience, which made me smile. Truly, this movie deserves more local support and international recognition as it stays factual to the martial law era and tries to inform and educate the Filipino moviegoer, particularly the millennials and Gen Z. These generations are vulnerable and impressionable and may lap up the revisionism and/or distortion of history so prevalent on social media. As a Gen X member myself, born three years after martial law was declared and an elementary school student when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated, it saddens, angers, and frustrates me that history during that period is seemingly lost on the youth. Nowadays, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and social media influencers have replaced history books.
The film is not for everyone, especially if one is a fan or follower of the first family that the “Maid in Malacañang” served in the last 72 hours before their infamous exile to Hawaii. The second movie is well-funded, much-hyped to entice more moviegoers and boost ticket sales. Doubts have been expressed, however, as to the veracity of its storyline. A movie reviewer described it as a “self-serving hagiography, probably an appeal for public sympathy.” I guess we know who is having the last laugh … for now.
Pre-pandemic, this brave movie would have been a required assignment for students in their history subject. As for the other movie, one may view it for entertainment purposes. In our current state, I urge more Filipino directors to make movies that not only entertain for shock value, but also inform and educate the moviegoing and voting public.
PAMELA I. CLAVERIA, M.D.,
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