Not “no study, no movie about it” — Martial Law on Film

Anti-Marcos Burial Protest

On midday of November 18, 2016, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was stealthily buried in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani, despite an order from the Supreme Court that was still subject to appeal. It was a slap in the faces of all the victims — both dead and alive — of his 20-year authoritarian regime.

To add insult to injury, current President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte defended the burial by insisting that, “Whether or not [Marcos] performed worse or better, there’s no study, no movie about [martial law], just the challenges and allegations of the other side.”

Duterte was wrong. Even today, Filipino and foreign filmmakers alike continue to express the atrocities of martial law through their craft; all would agree that that event in Philippine history had not been one happy picnic the way apologists make it out to be. Ferdinand Marcos, its mastermind, most definitely is not a hero by any definition.

The following movies are taken from a list compiled by one student organization in response to the President’s uninformed opinion.

This Letterboxd list also contains these movies.