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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

entry arrow4:48 PM | Orapronobis by Lino Brocka

Directed by Lino Brocka. Starring Phillip Salvador, Dina Bonnevie, Gina Alajar, and Bembol Roco.

From Vincent Canby's review in The New York Times:

(Orapronobis) Fight for Us is as much a political gesture as it is a political film. Produced by French interests in the Philippines, the movie is the outraged response of its director, Lino Brocka, one of the most popular and successful Philippine film makers, to the human-rights abuses that are reported to be continuing in his country.

The film expresses the disillusionment of those who fought the discredited regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, as Mr. Brocka did, with what is seen to be the complicity of President Corazon C. Aquino's Administration in paramilitary campaigns against any citizens suspected of Communist sympathies.

The program notes that accompany Fight for Us, including statements from Amnesty International, are somewhat more arousing than the film itself. They describe case histories of people tortured and murdered by vigilantes, known as the Civilian Home Defense Forces.

The point is that the Aquino regime, especially the members of the armed forces, is conspiring with the vigilantes to liquidate all suspected opposition. The announced target of the vigilantes: members of the New People's Army, the fighting wing of the outlawed Communist Party.

Fight for Us dramatizes the radicalization of one anti-Marcos fighter who, freed from prison after Mrs. Aquino's triumph, returns home only to find his compatriots fighting another, possibly even more insidious oppression.

The story is simply and effectively told, without undue melodrama. The screenplay, the direction and the performances never get in the way of the message, which is intended to alert the rest of the world to what has happened to the dream of democracy promised by Mrs. Aquino. Following the lead of Amnesty, Fight for Us does not directly blame the President, but those of her supporters who are using her revolution for their own ends.

You can also read the review from Lessons from the School of Inattention by Francis Cruz.


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