The year-long initiative, which started in 2022, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law that brought the Philippines under the dictatorship of the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in the 1970s. The collaboration with Cinemata aims to address generational trauma among the children and families of martial law heroes and survivors while safeguarding the accurate remembrance of history.
To bring insightful stories to the forefront, Amnesty International Philippines and Cinemata will showcase a diverse selection of martial law-related films and videos during the Martial Law Bloodlines Festival.
The on-site film screening will be held on June 30, 2023 at Cubix Park, Iloilo City. Gates open at 5 PM. To secure a spot and receive a souvenir event band, pre-register at https://bit.ly/MLBLIloilo.
Among the impactful films featured in the festival is Edjop by Alternative Horizons, which chronicles the life and struggles of youth-student leader Edgar Jopson. Jopson, who tragically lost his life at the hands of the military in 1982, exemplifies the unwavering commitment to social change and resistance against oppression.
Still from ‘Edjop’
Another film, Singkwento: Lito Ocampo by AlterMidya, explores the journey of Lito Ocampo, a Filipino photojournalist who endured torture and detention during the martial law period. Through his lens, Ocampo captured the struggle of the Filipino people against the Marcos dictatorship, becoming a visual chronicler of resistance.
Still from ‘Singkwento: Lito Ocampo’
In the poignant animated film Si Biboy kag ang Sigbin sa Siudad by Hannah Britanico, the protagonist Biboy embarks on a quest to find his father, who was taken away by a mythical creature called a “sigbin”. Along the way, Biboy encounters other children who share the pain of losing family members to the same creature. Despite the dangers, Biboy’s determination in seeking truth and justice shines through.
Still from ‘Si Biboy kag ang Sigbin sa Siudad’
The Martial Law Bloodlines project takes its name from the act of bloodlining in tattoos in the Philippines, signifying permanence and reflecting the enduring impact of the Marcos dictatorship on the Filipino psyche. It also symbolises the lineage of martial law heroes and survivors, specifically their second generation—the children who continue to carry the trauma inflicted during that dark era.
This initiative aims to ensure that the country’s history is not forgotten nor distorted while strengthening and celebrating protest movements.
Learn more about the project here.