On the celebration of Human Rights Defenders Day (Dec. 9) and on the eve of Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), the Free Leila Movement (FLM) and Human Rights and People Empowerment Center (HRPEC) have conducted an online screening of short films and documentaries that mirror the harsh realities about human rights and other related issues in the country.
Dubbed as “CinemaLeila: Mga Maiiksing Sine at Dokyu para sa Karapatang Pantao,” it featured the best works from both veteran and emerging filmmakers and activists.
The short films that were featured include Bad Elements, which shows two hitmen discussing what to do with the baby of the couple that they killed; “Sober,” an animated film of a girl and her bouts with alcoholism; and “I Believe,” which shows interviews with transgender professionals.
Short films such as “Selda,” an interview with Hilda Narciso, a martial law survivor; “Miss You Nay,” which shows an Overseas Filipino Worker mother viewing messages from her daughter in the Philippines who was killed in drug war; and “Titser Gennie,” the story of public school teacher who took the licensure exam for teachers 25 times before she passed in 2016, were also shown.
The online screening also featured video clips of Mr. Duterte’s statement against religion and his campaign promises that he failed to fulfill.
To fully awaken the public with the reality about abuses on the ground, a music video – featuring the Visayan folk song “Ili Ili, Tulog Anay” sung by Bayang Barrios with photos showing EJK victims and their families – was shown as part of the screening’s finale.
In his message, as shown in the video, veteran filmmaker Lav Diaz said that music and arts play a big role to inform the public of what is happening in the society.
“May responsibilidad ang cinema na manatiling maging bahagi ng kritikal na diskurso sa kasaysayan, sa mga kasalukuyang kaganapan sa paligid, sa bayan, sa mundo,” he said.
“Mahalagang manatili lagi sa panig ng katotohanan at katarungan ang cinema, maging isang armas ito lagi para sa pakikibakang kultural, sa pakikibaka sa liberasyon ng tao,” he added.
In her message for the National Human Rights Defenders Summit, De Lima said that she is certain that there are many more unreported incidents of abuse and violence wherein the powerless and those who try to defend them are victimized.
“Habang tumatagal, lalong tumitindi ang kalupitan at karahasan ng rehimeng ito. Isang nakakulong na ina ang pinagkaitan ng payapang paglilibing sa tatlong buwang sanggol, isa pang ina ang inaresto kasama ang isang buwang anak sa kaduda-dudang kadahilanan, at kamakailan, mag-asawang may sakit at may edad na ang karumal-dumal na pinaslang. Walang awa. Walang konsensya. Walang puso ang gobyernong ito,” she said.
“CinemaLeila: Mga Maiiksing Sine at Dokyu para sa Karapatang Pantao,” which will be aired again today at 7:30PM (Dec. 10), was done in support of Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), League of Authors of Public Interest Songs (LAPIS), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, and Movement Against Tyranny (MAT). (30)