Cinefest: Memoirs of the Martial Law

The Student Council organized “Cinefest: Memoirs of the Martial Law,” a series of movie screenings, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of martial rule this September. Read about the movies they chose to retell “Philippine History as chronicled through the lens of cinematography” from different perspectives here.

Ang Kwento ng mga Martial Law victims at Desaparecidos (2016)

Ang Kuwento ng mga Martial Law victims at Desaparecidos is a short video that revolves around the experiences of three men who personally lived through the Marcos regime. It retells the period of Martial Law from the perspectives of average people — kidnappings, killings, tragedies, and all.

A Dangerous Life (1988)

A Dangerous Life finds fictional American foreign correspondent Tony O’Neill following the events that lead to the downfall of the Marcos regime and martial law in the Philippines after witnessing the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino II. Though not a strictly historical retelling of the important period, A Dangerous Life and its shortcomings are a good introduction to it.

The Kingmaker (2019)

A critically acclaimed documentary about the Marcos political dynasty, the Kingmaker follows the story from the family’s matriarch, Imelda Romualdez Marcos. Structured around interviews with Imelda, the movie dialectically exposes dangerous inconsistencies in her narrative and draws parallels between the late 20th-century rise of her husband and the apparent present rise of her son. Eye-opening and frankly alarming, the Kingmaker tells a side of the story more important now than ever before.

Sister Stella L. (1984)

Unfair labor practices tolerated by an inefficient government that is inattentive to the concerns of the working class were a particularly pervasive problem in 1984. Sister Stella L. follows young nun Sister Stella Legaspi, journalist Nick Fajardo, and laborers whose cause they come to resonate with as they set out to protest this.

Barber’s Tales (2013)

“To instill fear in people. To cower us in submission. Isn’t this how our government does things?” In a story set in the 1970s, Marilou, childless and newly widowed, inherits her husband’s barbershop. From there, she faces misogyny, tyranny, and other vast obstacles firsthand in a rural area under the Marcos dictatorship. Watch Marilou, together with Susan, Tessie, and other women in the film, combat gender inequality, rise from anonymity, and symbolize women’s vital contribution to the fight against martial law, all in Barber’s Tales.

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