Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos: An Appeal by a Cinephile

Image from Maicling pelicula nañg ysañg Indio Nacional/A Short Film About the Indio Nacional, Or, The Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos (Raya Martin, 2005)
Martin’s Maicling Pelicula is an intensely personal film projecting the young director’s emotional impressions of the era bygone into actualities of the beginnings of the uprising, the stirrings of Philippine nationalism. [...] Maicling Pelicula throws down the gauntlet—and with rude authority—for the heights of sophistication and beauty that the Filipino aesthetic may reach.
Alexis Tioseco, November 11, 2006

Film Studies For Free's author imagines that its readers have been as shocked and upset as she has been to see the news footage of the recent Philippines floods caused when Tropical Storm Ketsana/now Typhoon Ondoy hit on Saturday. Independent filmmakers from the Philippines, like Raya Martin, are producing among the most compelling cinematic work in the world at the moment. Their communications about the floods on Twitter and Facebook have very powerfully expressed the awful scale of the country's current emergency.

FSFF urges you, if you are able, to investigate how to donate to any of the charitable organisations currently mobilising their resources to provide emergency support. One such organisation (based in the UK) is the Disasters Emergency Committee (also, a good point of call for those responding to the Southern Pacific tsunamis and the Indonesian earthquake [added Oct 1]); Google links for Help for Typhoon Ondoy Victims in the Philippines are here; the Philippine Red Cross is linked to here; other links, for those based in the Philippines, are listed here. If readers want to supply other links to, or information about, any further ways of donating, or helping, you are warmly encouraged to use the comments section of this blog for that purpose. Thank you.

Below is a small selection of key links to online resources on the subject of the cinema of the Philippines (including, at the very foot of the post, a wonderful Cahiers du cinéma video interview in English with Raya Martin) to remind us just how worthy of critical and other support that cinema is. Very sadly, as regular readers of FSFF will know, some of the best entries in the list come from a now silenced voice, that of one of the most eloquent champions of Philippine cinema: Alexis Tioseco, murdered in Quezon City, Philippines, along with partner and fellow critic Nika Bohinc, several weeks ago. They are much missed.

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