Thursday, December 8, 2022

Delivering Stories of Progress


HOWIE SEE IT: Oras De Peligro

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By Atty. Howie Calleja

Produced by Bagong Siklab Productions, award-winning director Joel Lamangan (a martial law survivor and imprisoned four times during the Marcos regime, made his first film in 1991, Lamangan is most well-known for his award-winning films which include The Flor Contemplacion Story, Sidhi, Deathrow, Hubog, Aishte Imasu 1941, Blue Moon, and Mano Po) is set to bring to Cinemas another thought provoking masterpiece entitled, ORAS DE PELIGRO (target release is February 2023 in time for the EDSA People Power Anniversary). The film was written by Eric Ramos and Bonifacio Ilagan. This motion picture will follow a documentary-drama style wherein historical and archival footages are combined with dramatization. The film is about the experiences of a poor urban family during the final days of the Marcos dictatorship.

In the words of Direk Joel, “Hindi madaling gumawa ng pelikulang kagaya nito. Hindi ito ipu-produce ng sinumang mainstream producer, wala! Dahil takot sila! Takot sila na mag-produce ng mga ganitong uri ng pelikula. Kaya kami ay nakatagpo ng grupo na mga nagnanais na magsabi rin ng katotohanan — at mga grupo ng kabataan din na mga producer — na gustong gamitin ang pelikula upang magtuwid ng mga mali at hindi katotohanang maaaring nagaganap na ngayon. Hindi ito pink, hindi ito dilaw, hindi ito pula, ito ay kayumanggi. Hindi ito nagsasabi ng anumang masama laban sa kasalukuyang administrasyon, wala! Hindi ito nagsasabi ng anumang sama ng nakaraang administrasyon, wala! Ang sinasabi lamang ng pelikulang ito ay kung ano ang totoong nangyari noong 1986 sa punto de vista ng isang simpleng pamilya. Wala kaming kulay-kulay. Ako, rainbow!”

Bonifacio Ilagan, one of the writers of the film, also a Martial Law survivor. Ilagan and Lamangan have worked together in the past for multiple film and media projects. He is the elder brother of Rizalina Ilagan, an activist who was abducted in 1977 which was never seen again.

Serving as a backdrop for the film is the EDSA People Power Revolution. According to Lamangan, the movie is a mindful effort to help fight propaganda and historical misrepresentation in the Philippines. The film will directly address the lies that Marcos propagandists and loyalists have been trying to embed into Philippine society for decades.

The prolific film cast includes Cherie Pie Picache; Allen Dizon; Mae Paner; Therese Malvar; Dave Bornea; Gerald Santos; Carlos Dala; Felixia Dizon; Jim Pebanco; Nanding Joseph; Apollo Abraham; Marcus Madrigal; Rico Barrera; and Elora Espano.

Movies are powerfully effective at communicating with the youth, most especially those who are too young or too uneducated to evaluate it critically. Precisely because of its audio-visual presentation, movies are especially effective at illogical persuasion. No careful logical reasoning is presented in films used for publicity, and worse, while being bombarded by rapidly changing images and sounds, the mind cannot critically follow complex arguments. Thus, it is critical that we utilize this same “propaganda” mechanism for proper education and information dissemination; and, I thank Direk Joel and his pool of actors and production crew who in their own creative way continues to stand up for the TRUTH.

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