Films Depicting the Horrors of Martial Law Can Help Fight Misinformation

Photo by Cinemata


MANILA – In response to the massive misinformation campaign, the independent think tank Ibon Foundation and the Concerned Artist of the Philippines (CAP) held a September 10 screening of two films that address the horrors of the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr dictatorship. .

“It’s very important, especially with the sentiment that goes, ‘if it’s not on video, it didn’t happen.’ Our enemies are at the forefront of historical distortion, and the Marcos themselves have their own chest of images,” said Sonny Africa, executive director of the Ibon Foundation.

The screening included films from AsiaVisions AV Collection titled “Arrogance of Power” (1983) and “Beyond the Walls of Prison” (1987) which depict the brutality suffered by Filipinos under martial law. It took place at Cine Adarna, Film Institute of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

Africa said these films can be used to educate the people to combat disinformation campaigns about the dictatorship of Marcos Sr. “(These films) are a big part of our collective memory as a people of what happened. during the Marcos era and we must preserve them.”

Films as mirrors of the past

Organizers of the activity said the two films show human rights abuses in the countryside, the violent dispersal of protest actions and endemic anti-poor policies they also witnessed.

In Arrogance of Power, the film featured the U.S. government’s role in supporting the Marcos administration’s counter-insurgency program that escalated attacks on Indigenous peoples under the guise of aid in the 1970s. massive cases of human rights violations like harassment, intimidation, arrests and murders.

During the period of martial law, human rights groups said there were 70,000 detainees, 34,000 victims of torture, 3,420 rescue cases and 398 disappearances.

The second film Beyond Prison Walls, on the other hand, featured a young Ron de Vera in several cameos about his mother and then political inmate Adora Faye, whose story of rape and sexual abuse then that it was in the hands of the military was one of the cases filed in the class action lawsuit against Marcos in Hawaii.

Last month, Adora Faye was again arrested, this time charged with multiple murders.

Lily: An arrested activist is a survivor of torture under the dictatorship of Marcos Sr.

The film also depicts the harrowing experiences of rural Filipinos who have become targets of human rights abuses. Their communities have been militarized and promises of land reform have not been kept.

Storage and digitization of documents

Africa said the films can shed light on the dark years in the country’s recent history that some social media influencers are trying to rebrand as a paradise for the Filipino people. He added that almost half a century of images and documents are also forgotten.

They must be preserved and digitized before the files become corrupted by old age and the playback system becomes completely obsolete, Africa pointed out. He said they were working to preserve other files and movies with other affected groups. (JJE, DAA) (