On I-Witness, Christopher de Leon, Carmi Martin, and Behn Cervantes talk about their classic films done during Martial Law


"What is Filipino? It was a question often asked during Martial Law. Were they simply a sweet and docile people that had exchanged freedom for discipline, economic progress, and benevolent rule, as the Marcos propaganda machine wanted everyone to believe?

"The movies had different and more daring answers, if they were allowed to screen at all.

"Martial Law was a time when the mass media was mostly an image-making apparatus for the regime. But some movies tried to portray the truth. And a few of those films are considered among the greatest Philippine movies of all time.

"This Monday on GMA-7’s I-Witness, Howie Severino and his documentary team look back at Martial Law on its 40th anniversary through some of the films produced during what is widely known as a golden age of Philippine cinema.

"They interview Christopher de Leon, who began his career during Martial Law, about his naive character Kulas in the classic, Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? Its director Eddie Romero tells them that's who the Filipino was: a smiling survivor who just tried to get along with everyone.

"Other political films of the period would beg to disagree. Philip Salvador's character, Turing, in Lino Brocka's acclaimed Bayan ko: Kapit sa Patalim reacts to injustice by turning to crime.

"Carmi Martin, who plays a sexy dancer in the same movie, reveals how the banned film was smuggled out of the country so it could be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and how her activist director Brocka had politicized her.


"Severino reunites with Behn Cervantes, director of another banned film, Sakada, and together they return to the police camp where they met after their arrest at protest actions, and recall the late Lino Brocka who was in the same jail.

"Each of their movies is a story of struggle both on camera and behind the camera. Join Howie Severino as he uncovers a slice of the '70s through the movies in this week’s episoe of I-Witness, Monday night after Saksi on GMA-7."

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