Posters of President Rodrigo Duterte can be seen throughout Antoinette Jadaone’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2020 entry ‘Fangirl,’ but what do they really mean? These people tried to figure it out

/ 28 December 2020

If you have already seen Antoinette Jadaone’s ‘Fangirl,’ you must have noticed posters of President Rodrigo Duterte throughout the movie. They appeared in the secluded place where Paulo Avelino (who played as himself) brought Jane (portrayed by Charlie Dizon). They were also seen hanging on the walls of the tenement where Jane lives. 

It is no secret that the President has repeatedly angered the masses for his blatant comments about women on live television, problematic “solutions’’ to the country’s long existing problems, promotion of extrajudicial violence, and whatnot. 

According to people on social media, these easter eggs are reflections of Filipinos who still glorify the President despite his problematic attitude and governance. 

Gusto ko talagang subtle jab yung posters ni Duterte sa Fan Girl, as if to liken Paulo’s character to the president, the only difference being Paulo’s pretty face. Until when will the Charlie Dizons love him unconditionally?” one Twitter user asked. 

(I really loved that the posters were used to take a swipe on Duterte’s supporters,  as if to liken Paulo’s character to the president, the only difference being Paulo’s pretty face. Until when will the ‘Charlie Dizons’ love him unconditionally?)

“Pansin mo ba, nasa bag niya pa rin yung poster nung pauwi na siya sa house nila. Naisip ko, fan pa rin ba siya after all what she experienced?” another user asked referring to the scene where Jane went home after her traumatic experience with Paulo. 

(Did you notice that Jane still brought Paulo’s poster when she went home? It had me thinking..is she still a fan after everything she experienced?)

This is Antoinette Jadaone’s bravest film to date. The reality of idolatry was played well and its clear message of no matter how you idolize the person whether an actor or politician, yes the Duterte posters are so subtle, you must always stand for what is right,” a netizen also said. 

The film includes shots of Duterte posters around the compound during the scene where Jane went home to their 4×6 ft room. This made Fan girl (2020) more than about sexism, it lowkey exposed the social reality under duterte—wala pa ring nangyayari (nothing happens still),” a Tweet said. 

Sought for answers, Jadaone has yet to confirm if these fan theories are indeed correct. But one thing is for sure, her movie Fangirl will make people think twice about the people they idolize.