This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival has angered the public when they disqualified Honor Thy Father, a film by Erik Matti, from winning Best Picture. The movie has allegedly been pulled out from theatres. The online public is rallying to have the film shown in theatres. Facebook user Nash Tysmans is angered by this whole situation and she explains why we, too, should be mad:
The whole text reads:
#HonorThyPeople Maybe it’s the same with books? Those who sell limit access in favor of profit–it’s always that stupid game of “will we run the risk of selling things that might not sell?” So tired of living in a country where our own art is so inaccessible. Then we complain that our culture isn’t rich or we’re so baduy–and because there is a parallel here, we will no doubt use this logic against the masses and say, “This is why we get what we deserve. Our voters are dumb. They don’t know any better.” Excuse me lang, let’s take a good look at power structures and the way our consumption (and to a large extent, our politics) is controlled by corporations, by the marriage of corruptible power and money. It’s exhausting to have to fight all the time just to see films or read books that reflect painful realities back at us–but if this is the cost of awareness, of having an intimate knowledge of how so many systems oppress us, then so be it. I’ll fight. I want Honor Thy Father in the cinemas–where every Juan has the option to watch it. I want more bookstores with diverse titles that sell books published nationwide–and I want National Bookstore to cut this crap of selling too many paper clips, envelopes, and office supplies! You have the distribution down pat because you are nationwide and yet, and yet, books are not your mainstay. Why? And since this is about how knowledge and information ought to inform our actions, why aren’t we upset that yet again, journalists have been threatened by armed groups?! Why are we not angrier? And come elections, when violence permeates our already circus-like polls, what then? Will we just accept these atrocities against our freedom? So many people have already echoed that we get what we deserve and they do so with some resignation, some acceptance of this crap we have to put up with. Excuse me for messing up our holidays but frankly, I think we deserve better. People who have the capacity to get things done, who know better, have to act more responsibly. We owe it to ourselves to sleep more soundly. Let’s pay attention to what enables our privilege.
I want to live in this country until I’m old and gray but I sure as hell don’t want to be shot down for writing stories of consequence. How many of us edit our writing even before it sees publication for fear of rebuke that ostracizes us? How many of us stop telling our stories because we are afraid of the consequence of telling the truth? And when art is the only vehicle for these truths to survive, why must these be taken away from us again?
Do you agree?