Cinema is hard-coded in history and culture. It is an inscription etched literally with sweat, blood, and tears. Though it changes form constantly, it remains a big part of a very much Filipino way of life.
It should surprise nobody, then, that movies and filmmaking prove efficient weapons in the disinformationist's arsenal.
Examples go as far back as the Japanese colonial period, but modern-day efforts feel more consorted — crueler. After years of false and revisionist content attempting to rewrite history, the Marcoses are back in power, successfully straddled on the backs of Filipinos, billions' worth of ill-gotten wealth and tax evasion cases be damned.
On May 19, 2022, right on the heels of Bongbong Marcos' controversial win, a pitch for Maid in Malacañang went viral, a film that seems to exist solely to revise the momentous ousting of dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.
As I write this, I feel awash with frustration. I refuse to partake in cinema that's built upon falsehoods and lies. Truth has always been the sun that films revolved around. It unravels ('nagbubunyag'), criticizes ('nagsisiyasat'), and speaks it ('nangungusap').
We started using the tagline 'Usapang Pelikula' because it brings attention to the fact that films aren't mere story beats. They echo in our conversations, disseminating ideas and reiterating truths.
We're keeping the same vision as we go onward but with a different look (as I'm sure some of you have grown acquainted with already) and outlook with regards to our content and goal as a website.
To start, let's talk aesthetics: we've completely redesigned the website, discarded all the unnecessary kinks, and settled with a simple but efficient user experience.
Here's a look at the new website:
The changes we've made in our visual, we hope, signal the changes we have planned for our content. For starters, we're striving to bring greater diversity to the voices appearing on our website. With this in mind, we've reopened submissions to freelance film writers and contributors.
Still to come: a "Support" functionality that allows readers to help fund our staff writers' and contributors' work by paying a small monthly fee. This will also pay for the website's costs and fund new content initiatives such as live Q&As, viewing parties, and more. We hope these to go live by Q4 2022.
Thank you so much for sticking with us on this journey. Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino!
— Armand & Geoff.