Arts & Culture


From September 19-21, film festival Daang Dokyu rolls out a selection of documentary films remembering one of the darkest periods in Philippine history.

/ 17 September 2020

History has a bad habit of repeating itself when a country’s descendants don’t pay enough attention or fail to learn from the mistakes of its ancestors. Thus, continuous learning and strengthening of historical memory are essential to make sure these past mistakes don’t ever rear its ugly head again in contemporary times. This is precisely the intent behind Philippine film festival Daang Dokyu, with this year’s theme putting the spotlight on one historic event that drastically affected the nation as a whole, and is still affecting several Filipinos mentally and physically decades later.

The festival is opening its annual program with the theme “Martial Law, Never Again,” to showcase “the largest collection of curated Philippine documentaries ever put together for online public viewing,” says Festival Director Jewel Maranan. Five films, two of which will premiere on the festival, will be available online from September 19-21, culminating the first week of Daang Dokyu.


The lineup is as follows:

  • Marcos: A Malignant Spirit (1986) by ABS-CBN News
  • Mendiola Massacre (1987) by Lito Tiongson (AsiaVisions, IBON Foundation)
  • A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution (1988) by Nettie Wild
  • Imelda (2003) by Ramona Diaz
  • Allunsina (2020) by Kiri Dalena

The film festival perfectly hits the annual commemoration of Martial Law coming this September 21, a grim yet truly necessary call to remember what happens as a result of abuse of power and disregard of human life.

This is even more integral now as more and more of the youth register their power to vote, and recognize the need to be socially active in national affairs. As a whole generation has already grown up into adulthood post-Martial Law, it’s essential that the youth and the next generations to come are fully equipped with the knowledge of past faults and its consequences, especially since they never experienced it in the first place.

In the middle of a global pandemic and state crisis, and less than two years away from national elections, it is crucial, now more than ever, to strengthen our memory of the past and allow its lessons to help us make educated decisions in the days to come. It would do us wonders to reflect on these events and identify similarities in the personalities, executive decisions, and directions from our leaders, in order to prevent a repeat of history coated with blood, deceit, and dishonor.

More than this, Daang Dokyu also opens its festival until November 5 with even more documentaries on important Philippine matters such as the country’s local environment, taboo topics, history, and discussions on where the country is headed in the near future. This is in celebration of a hundred years of Philippine filmmaking and storytelling in the arts.