Film Analysis on My Candidate by Quark Henares
Film Title: My Candidate
Director: Quark Henares
On Patriarchy: the film presents a too patriarchal world. First, women were presented as form of entertainment in a campaign event when a group of girls danced with their tight shorts. Second, after that shot, the guy who is a member of Suarez’ campaign team shouted “take it off!” This sequence is very disappointing to see, when in fact it can be deleted for i can see no reason for this. The film positioned women as inferior to men. Men in the film were empowered by imposing their superiority as a natural thing. The guy bestfriend of Billie (girl) always shows his masculinity by referring to his genital all the time. This presents his superiority as a man who can offer his phallus to any woman as a symbol that men can make women happy sexually (a dominant ideology in the Philippines). The last part of the film validates this when he suddenly grabs a woman campaign member and they make out in a slightly aggressive way.
On Heterosexism: There is one scene that really caught my attention. Inside the van when Suarez and Billie (girl) were talking about personal lives, Suarez asks her on her past relationships when he referred by asking “e boys?” (how about boys?). When Billie did not respond he continued asking “e girls? no, no, no”. This phrase suggests that he hopes she is not into women. The question now is, why not? There is nothing wrong with that, yet the film says the other way. This film, unfortunately, contributed to the dominant ideology where people should believe that homosexuality is a bad thing.
On Ideology: what is the message of the film? that there are still good politicians in the country. This is not a bad thing, however, i have hoped for a more deep discussion about the theme it presents. It should have addressed issues and offer solutions to problems in politics, public service and campaign. The film only showed its audience that the world is still beautiful. This is what Lumbera stresses in his writings on Urian Anthology book 1, when he encourages filmmakers of the Philippines to produce better films by avoiding sending this kind of message “maganda pa ang daigdig” (the world is still beautiful). Instead, the filmmakers must emancipate audiences’ consciousness by presenting real social problems and eschewing instant solutions for the sake of happy endings.
P.S. it is disappointing to see the weaknesses of this film and I am worried on how it will affect the audiences’ minds. Plus, the fact that Henares teaches filmmaking in a university, now bothers me.
#GenderInsensitive #Patriarchal #Lowbrow
Suggested books to read (to follow my discussion):
Advanced Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings — Ed. by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen 2004
Film Studies: Critical Approaches — Ed by John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson 2000
The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory — Ed. by Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland 2014
Urian Anthology 1970–1979 — Ed. by Nick Tiongson