Featured Film: Dung-aw (1975) by Lino Brocka

Dung-aw is a historical and musical film that glimpses into the heroism of 18th century revolutionary leader Gabriela Silang (Armida Siguion-Reyna). Scriptwriter Mario O’Hara depicts the courage and compassion of Gabriela, despite limited information about her. Set in the time of Spaniards’ usurpation of land, products and the indulto de comercio, landowning couple Diego and Gabriela resorts to tricking the colonizers with the aid of their people. A farm hand betrays them, leading to the assassination of Diego. Diego’s death leads Gabriela to pick up her long knife and lead the revolution herself despite great odds. She is eventually captured and publicly executed. A young revolutionary in Gabriela’s army keeps his knife and awaits for the coming of a second Gabriela.

Dung-aw refers to an Ilocano tradition of extolling a deceased person’s good deeds, much like a pasyon in Lent. In the film, Gabriela’s dung-aw cries out her bravery and continuing quest for freedom.

Screening on August 10, 7pm at the UP Film Center as part of the 3rd Pandayang Lino Brocka Political Film and New Media Festival. Free admission (or avail of the P10 donation ticket).

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Film Selection: Panaw Kalinaw by Arnel Mardoquio

Synopsis:

15 minutes | Short Film

Panaw Kalinaw is short narrative depicting the participation of Lumads, especially women, in the peace process.

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Arnel Mardoquio is a storyteller and a cultural worker. He is born, raised and based in Davao City, Philippines all his life. A two-time and a grand prize Palanca winner Asia’s equivalent to Pulitzer’s award), his stories are always inspired from his constant travel around Mindanao since his family moved to places since he was ten years old. His stories mirror the aspirations and uniqueness of the Mindanaoan people and culture.His first film won an award and bagged seven nominations in the URIAN in 2009 His newest film project “Sheika” won the award in NETPAC-CINEMALAYA 2010– his third full length feature film. Recently, his “Sheika” won Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Editing at 2011 Gawad-Urian.

Film Selection: Salute by JL Burgos

Synopsis:

5 minutes | Poetry in Motion

Salute pays tribute to all women who remain steadfast in their fight for human rights. It combines the powerful poem of Ms. Joi Barrios entitled “Litanya ng mga Naghahanap (Litany Of My Search)” and the haunting song of the political film Sister Stella L. entitled “Sangandaan” (Lacaba/Achacoso). The touching performance poetry was held during the International Day of the Disappeared in 2010 with no less than Ms. Barrios reading her piece. The poem was written for the parents of Jonas Burgos, Karen Empeno and Sherilyn Cadapan, and the families of Luisa and Nilo of Panay, but, it talks about a mother’s, a wife’s, a sister’s search for the desaparecidos not knowing where to begin, when it will end or where it will lead them. A series of vignettes follow immediately after the reading to a very fitting soundtrack, Sangandaan. It depicts the struggles of the families of the disappeared and the life they decided to live. The video highlights the women who cried, the women who grieved and, despite everything, all of them chose to fight.

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JL Burgos, visual artist and film maker, is a staunch advocate of human rights. He is also the brother of Jonas Burgos.

Film Selection: Sounds of a New Hope by Eric Tandoc


Synopsis:

Documentary | 40 minutes

Tackles the life and music of Filipino-American MC, Kiwi, as he moves from the streets of Los Angeles to the Excelsior District of San Francisco. His devotion to hiphop and commitment to social change which took him to the urban barrios of Caloocan City and Metro Manila. Through hip-hop, he bridges gaps in language and culture and connects the struggles of Filipinos across the world. It also documents the growing use of hip-hop as an organizing tool in the ongoing people’s struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines.

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Eric Tandoc is a community organizer, filmmaker, DJ, and chairperson of the progressive Filipino youth organization, Anakbayan Los Angeles. He began making short narrative films in high school and was drawn to social justice documentary filmmaking as an undergrad through the Center for EthnoCommunications at UCLA. In 2004, he went on an exposure trip to the Philippines hosted by the progressive media arts organization, Southern Tagalog Exposure. He integrated with oppressed and exploited communities that are organizing for systemic change and conducted video production trainings with human rights workers. In 2008, he graduated from the Social Documentation M.A. program at UC Santa Cruz where he produced Sounds of a New Hope, a documentary film about the life and music of Filipino American emcee Kiwi and the growing use of hip-hop as method for youth organizing in the people’s movement for genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines. He is currently touring the film around the US as a multi-media stage production, utilizing video DJing technology to manually re-edit the film live while incorporating musical performances in-between scenes.