Philippines, My Philippines


Philippines my Philippines (1989, Stoney Desert Productions) is a feature length documentary about the situation in the Philippines two years after the notionally democratic Cory Aquino replaced the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the ‘People Power’ revolution of 1986. Touching on the influence and interests of the United States and Australia, it examines the social context and dimensions of the violent conflict between government and big business on one hand and the rural and urban poor (led by the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People Army) on the other. I was invited to research and make the film by solidarity activists who had seen a previous film, Brigadistas (1985), I had made about Australians in Cuba.

I made Philippines my Philippines because I was interested in the structure and process of social revolutions being attempted in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Under US tutelage, governments in those places were following a strategy of ‘low intensity conflict’ against popular, broadly socialist uprisings. The scope and sophistication of the organising by the various sections of the broad left in the Philippines was enormously impressive, and the nature of the violence by both sides of the conflict needed to be documented and explored.

Philippines my Philippines is a filmic essay about social and political organisation and violence in an attempted revolution. For the great majority of Filipinos, life is not much different nearly three decades since the film was made, although the personalities and fortunes of the main political forces have waxed and waned in the meantime. The film captures an approach to ‘people’s struggle’ which retains of enduring relevance today.

Credits

Director
Chris Nash
Producer
Maree Delofski
Producer
Chris Nash
Director of Photography
John Whitteron
Editor
Ruth Cullen
Sound
Bronwyn Murphy